U.S. Treasury debt prices rose on Friday, pushing benchmark yields to a 15-month low, after a larger-than-expected drop in non-farm payrolls in July added to worries that the economic recovery was faltering.
U.S. non-farm payrolls fell 131,000 as temporary jobs to conduct the decennial census dropped by 143,000, the Labor Department said.
Private employment, considered a better gauge of labor market health, rose 71,000 after increasing 31,000 in June. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast overall employment falling 65,000 and private-sector hiring increasing 90,000.
In addition, the government revised payrolls for May and June to show 97,000 fewer jobs than previously reported.
"We've got a good little bid in the Treasury market here — long story short, the headline (payrolls number) number was weaker than expected," said John Brady, senior vice president at MF Global in Chicago.
Benchmark 10-year note yields dipped to as low as 2.84 percent following the release of the data, marking the lowest since April 2009, while two-year note yields reached to a record low of 0.50 percent, according to Reuters data.
After hitting the yield lows, the Treasury market retrenched somewhat. The 10-year note was trading 15/32 higher in price to yield 2.85 percent, down from 2.91 percent late Thursday, while the two-year note was 1/32 higher to yield 0.52 percent from 0.54 percent.
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