After moving notably lower over the past few sessions, treasuries showed a modest move back to the upside during trading on Thursday.
Bond prices moved higher in morning trading and remained positive throughout the afternoon. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, edged down by 1.5 basis points to 3.144 percent.
The rebound by treasuries came as traders expressed some uncertainty ahead of the release of the Labor Department’s closely watched monthly employment report on Friday.
Employment is expected to climb by 190,000 jobs in October after rising by 134,000 jobs in September, while the unemployment rate is expected to hold at 3.7 percent.
Treasuries may also have benefited from the release of a report from the Institute for Supply Management showing a bigger than expected slowdown in the pace of growth in manufacturing activity in the month of October.
The ISM said its purchasing managers index dropped to 57.7 in October from 59.8 in September, although a reading above 50 still indicates growth in the manufacturing sector. Economists had expected the index to edge down to 59.0.
With the much bigger than expected decrease, the manufacturing index fell to its lowest level since hitting 57.3 in April.
A day ahead of the release of the more closely watched monthly jobs report, the Labor Department also released a report showing a slight drop in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended October 27th.
The report said initial jobless claims edged down to 214,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 216,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to come in unchanged compared to the 215,000 originally reported for the previous week.
A separate report from the Labor Department showed a slowdown in the pace of labor productivity growth in the third quarter.
The Labor Department said labor productivity climbed by 2.2 percent in the third quarter after jumping by 3.0 percent in the second quarter. Economists had expected productivity to increase by about 2.0 percent.
Meanwhile, the report said unit labor costs surged up by 1.2 percent in the third quarter after slumping by 1.0 percent in the second quarter. The rebound in labor costs matched economist estimates.
The Labor Department’s closely watched monthly employment report is likely to be in the spotlight on Friday, overshadowing separate reports on the U.S. trade deficit and factory orders.