U.S. government debt prices were slightly lower Thursday morning as investors await key U.S. jobless claims figures for last week.
Yields plunged on Wednesday after the record declines in the latest manufacturing and retail data highlighted the dire outlook for the U.S. economy as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Focus Thursday will be attuned to the Labor Department’s report on last week’s initial jobless claims. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect new unemployment claims to hit 5 million, which would bring the total to 22 million in just one month after a record 6.6 million claims the previous week.
President Donald Trump insisted on Wednesday that the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. has “passed the peak.” As of Thursday morning, more than 639,000 cases have been confirmed stateside, resulting in more than 30,000 deaths.
The initial jobless claims figures are due at 8:30 a.m. ET, along with March building permits and housing starts data.
Auctions will be held Thursday for $90 billion of 4-week Treasury bills and $70 billion of 8-week bills.