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U.S. Government Bonds Advance on Stock Market Weakness

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09/06/2018 | 04:29pm EDT

By Daniel Kruger

U.S. government bond prices rose Thursday as trade tensions and unsettled emerging markets pushed investors toward the safety of fixed-income.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell the most in more than two weeks to 2.877% from 2.902% Wednesday. Yields fall as bond prices rise.

Yields fell alongside the S&P 500 after payroll processor Automatic Data Processing Inc. and forecasting firm Moody's Analytics said Thursday that the economy added fewer jobs than predicted in August. Last month's gains of 163,000 positions missed projections from economists polled by The Wall Street Journal, who expected 190,000 new private-sector jobs.

A separate report from the Department of Labor Thursday said that initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs across the U.S., declined to a seasonally adjusted 203,000 in the last week of August, the smallest number since 1969.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its nonfarm job numbers on Friday. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal are expecting 192,000 new nonfarm jobs and an unemployment rate of 3.8%.

While economic growth appears robust, investors are watching developments in trade and emerging markets, which could pose a threat to the current expansion. The U.S. is engaged in talks with its largest trading partners as the Trump administration tries to put America on more advantageous footing. The most prominent discussions taking place are with officials from China and Canada.

"There's no doubt the job market is strong, the economy is strong," said Matt Salzillio, a bond manager at Ryan Labs Asset Management. "People are worried about trade wars pushing us over the edge and ending the good times we're having."

Write to Daniel Kruger at Daniel.Kruger@wsj.com

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
DJ INDUSTRIAL 0.01% 27222.43 Delayed Quote.16.70%
NASDAQ 100 -0.60% 7853.808307 Delayed Quote.25.23%
NASDAQ COMP. -0.47% 8166.390568 Delayed Quote.24.46%
S&P 500 -0.35% 2983.75 Delayed Quote.19.05%
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