Treasurys lower on stronger reports

Associated Press

Treasury prices fell sharply Wednesday on the latest evidence that the U.S. economy is starting to pick up steam and the job market is recovering.

The price on the 10-year note fell 62.50 cents per $100 invested, sending its yield up to 3.48 percent from 3.40 percent late Tuesday. The 30-year bond fell even more sharply, down $1.50. Its yield was 4.57, up from 4.48 percent Tuesday.

A Federal Reserve survey released Wednesday showed that all 12 of the Fed’s regions reported growth at a “modest to moderate pace.” The report noted that job creation was picking up in each area.

Also Wednesday, payroll processor ADP said private employers added 217,000 jobs last month, well above the 180,000 analysts had predicted. That raised hopes that the government’s employment report that will be released Friday could show a decline in the unemployment rate, which is currently 9 percent.

Investors tend to sell ultra-safe assets like Treasurys when signs emerge that the economy is growing.

The Fed report also found that retail sales picked up in 10 of the 12 regions and that factory activity rose in all districts except St. Louis, which once again gave rise to inflationary concerns.

These concerns were heightened because the conflict in the Middle East and North Africa continues to deepen. Crude oil settled above $102 a barrel for the first time since Sept. 2008.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said he’s monitoring oil and commodity prices, even though inflation is contained.

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