Treasuries showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading session on Thursday before ending the day roughly flat.
Bond prices spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, edged down by less than a basis point to 2.821 percent.
The choppy trading came as traders seemed reluctant to make significant moves amid trade renewed concerns after the U.S. imposed tariffs on $16 billion worth of Chinese goods, leading to a tit-for-tat retaliation by the Asian nation.
After the U.S. imposed an additional 25 percent in duties on Chinese imports ranging from motorcycles to steam turbines and railway cars, China’s Ministry of Commerce said it would lodge a complaint against the measure under the World Trade Organization’s dispute settlement mechanism.
In U.S. economic news, a report released by the Labor Department showed a modest decrease in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended August 18th.
The report said initial jobless claims edged down to 210,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 212,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 215,000.
Meanwhile, the Commerce Department released a separate report showing an unexpected decrease in new home sales in the month of July.
The report said new home sales dropped by 1.7 percent to an annual rate of 627,000 in July after tumbling by 2.4 percent to a revised rate of 638,000 in June. Economists had expected new home sales to climb by 2.2 percent.
The Treasury Department also announced the details of next week’s auctions of two-year, five-year and seven-year notes on Thursday.
The Treasury revealed its plans to sell $36 billion worth of two-year notes next Monday, $37 billion worth of five-year notes next Tuesday and $31 billion worth of seven-year notes next Wednesday.
Trading on Friday may be impacted by reaction to the Commerce Department’s report on durable goods orders as well as any significant comments out of the economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.