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Treasury Prices Fall As Investors Await Bernanke

MARKETSCOPE : Treasury bond prices fell on Friday, as investors watched news about the U.S. trade deficit and prepared for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's inaugural speech next week.

The benchmark 10-year note fell 09/32 to 99-11/32 for a yield of 4.58%, while the 30-year bond sank 22/32 to 99-07/32 for a yield of 4.55%.

The U.S. reported that its December Trade deficit widened to $65.68 billion from $64.7 billion in November, revised from $64.2 billion.

The U.S. Treasury recorded a $20.99 billion surplus in January, well above the $8.6 billion surplus last January. Its receipts climbed 13.7% while spending rose 7.9%. For the fiscal year to date, the deficit is $98.23 billion compared to a $109.5 billion shortfall last year.

The recently sworn in Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gives economic outlook testimony to the House and Senate committees next week.

"We expect the new Chairman's basic message to be very much in tune with what we heard from the (Federal Open Market Comittee) FOMC on Jan. 31, and any shading of that message is more likely to be hawkish than dovish," said Peter Hooper, an analyst at Deutsche Bank in New York. He noted that the bond market has moved more closely in line with Deutsche Bank's expectations for the Fed funds rate reaching 5% this spring.

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