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Treasury Prices Slip

MARKETSCOPE : Treasury bond markets were slipping on Monday, as stock markets rose and energy prices declined.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury notes yielded 4.59% near closing time, compared to 4.57% yield at the previous session's close. The 30-year bonds yielded 4.54% from 4.53%. Yields rise when prices fall.

News hit that U.S. New Home Sales fell 5.0% to a 1,233,000 annual pace in January from 1,298,000 in December, which was revised from 1,269,000. The sales pace was the slowest in a year. Nonetheless, the median home price still rose to $238,100 from $221,800. New home sales fell in all U.S. regions but the West, which posted an 11.3% gain. Sales dropped 14.9% in the Northeast, 10.8% in the Midwest and 10.3% in the South.

Meanwhile the National Association for Business Economics forecast that U.S. gross domestic product will grow at 4.5% in the first quarter, which was revised from 3.4% previously. If true, growth will be up substantrially from 1.1% in the fourth quarter

Investors have long watched the U.S. economy for signs of growth and inflation, as they bet on the future direction of interest rates. The key interest rate controlled by the Fed now stands at 4.50%, the highest in nearly five years, after a series of rate hikes since 2004.

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