Treasuries rose after a private employment report showed companies boosted employment in March at a slower-than-forecast pace, a sign the labor market may be stalling.
U.S. government debt erased an earlier decline as companies added 158,000 workers last month, figures from the Roseland, New Jersey-based ADP Research Institute showed, under the median estimate of a 200,000 gain in a Bloomberg survey. Benchmark yields climbed from a two-month low yesterday as government data showed orders placed with factories increased in February more than economists forecast. The Labor Department will issue its jobs report on April 5.
“This number changes nothing for Friday — the market is now fully focused on Friday to define direction,” said Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at Royal Bank of Canada’s RBC Capital Markets LLC, one of 21 primary dealers that trade with the Federal Reserve. “The real question is when do you start to gain momentum. No one can deny it’s moving along.”
The benchmark 10-year note fell one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 1.85 percent at 8:46 a.m. New York time, according to Bloomberg Bond Trader prices.
The employment increase, held back by limited hiring in construction, was the smallest since October and followed a revised 237,000 gain the prior month, according to ADP. Estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from gains of 170,000 to 240,000.
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