Treasurys Steady After Recent Gains as Hurricane Irma Looms -- Update

By Sam GoldfarbFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

The U.S. government bond market took a breather Friday, holding gains from earlier in the week as traders prepared for Hurricane Irma and the threat of more missile tests by North Korea.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note settled at 2.058%, just under the previous postelection low of 2.061% set Thursday. Yields fall when bond prices rise.

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After slipping Thursday, Treasury yields continued to decline in the overnight session before perking up at the start of U.S. trading.

Yields have reached new 2017 lows this week, reflecting investors' concerns about geopolitics and natural disasters, as well as continued focus on soft inflation data.

Even with parts of the U.S. still reeling from Hurricane Harvey, authorities have ordered mass evacuations from the Miami area in preparation for a potential direct hit from Hurricane Irma over the weekend.

There has also been speculation that North Korea could soon launch another intercontinental ballistic missile, raising further questions about how the U.S. and other countries can halt the progress of its nuclear program.

Treasurys tend to attract money during times of economic or political uncertainty along with other haven assets such as gold and the Japanese yen.

"What's going to happen with North Korea, what's going to happen with the hurricanes, it's just an unknown, and people are voting with buying of Treasurys," said Thomas Roth, managing director in the rates trading group at MUFG Securities Americas Inc.

One threat to the economy -- the possibility of a government shutdown or breach of the federal debt limit -- was temporarily resolved Friday, as the House passed a bill that would fund the government and suspend the debt limit until December.

Concern that Congress could fail to pass such a measure has helped bolster most Treasury debt recently, though it has hurt demand for short-term bills that would be the first to get hit if the government reached the limit of its borrowing authority.

Write to Sam Goldfarb at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 08, 2017 16:15 ET (20:15 GMT)