Weak U.S. economic data also weighed on risk assets and sent buyers into Treasurys. Weekly jobless claims were a surprising 386,000, a stubbornly high number for a second week in a row and the highest number in nearly four months. Existing home sales fell 2.6 percent, to an annual rate of 4.48 million, also disappointing.
Economists said some of the creep higher in claims could be due to seasonality, around the Easter holiday. There is also the theory that some of the weakness in economic data is the result of warmer winter weather having pulled some activity forward, and now there is payback, as there was in the surprisingly weak March jobs report.
“One month’s data is not going to tell you if it’s a blip or a payback. That’s an uncertainty that’s moved in to the second quarter,” said Briggs.
“With Europe ramping back up, investors are waiting to get some further information, whether it’s on Europe or it’s whether this weather thing is true. Maybe the next payrolls will give us more information, on whether it’s payback. We really can’t make that assessment yet,” Briggs said. “Europe on balance is negative, and Chinese growth numbers, on the margin, are coming in weaker. All of that points to a little bit better environment for Treasurys.”
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