Treasuries Rise as U.S. Jobless-Benefit Claims Exceed Forecast

Treasuries gained as data showed claims for jobless benefits rose to a six-week high last week, fueling bets an uneven recovery in the world’s biggest economy will slow increases in the benchmark U.S. interest rate.

The yield on the 30-year bond fell for a second day before the U.S. sells $16 billion of the securities. The long bond returned 16 percent in 2014 through yesterday, more than double that of U.S. stocks, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch data. Unrest in Ukraine and Gaza has also driven investor demand for the relative safety of government debt.

“The expectations were for a more optimistic view on claims, which has not come to pass,” said Guy LeBas, chief fixed-income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC in Philadelphia. “The biggest source of demand right now is from overseas.”

U.S. 30-year yields fell two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 3.22 percent at 8:50 a.m. in New York, according to Bloomberg Bond Trader data.

Jobless claims climbed by 21,000 to 311,000 in the period ended Aug. 9, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 48 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 295,000. There was nothing unusual in the data and no states were estimated, a spokesman said as the figures were released.

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