The most recent sale of U.S. government debt fetched another record-low yield as investors continue to flock to the safe haven of Treasuries.
On a day when Treasuries posted strong gains after slumping the previous week, a $33 billion auction of three-year notes fetched a high yield of 0.79 percent. There were 3.21 times as many bids compared to the amount auctioned, a measure known as the bid-to-cover ratio.
Debt add to their gains following the auction. The 30-year long bond was up more than 1.5 points on the day, its yield falling to 3.69 percent as the price gained 1-23/32.
The benchmark 10-year note gained 21/32 to yield 2.62 percent against 2.69 percent from late Friday.
Treasuries rebounded after three straight sessions of losses, as ebbing confidence in the stock market restored a safe haven bid for government bonds.
Investors also reassessed their initial relief about a less-somber-than-expected U.S. monthly jobs report Friday.
The jobs data had momentarily assuaged fears about the risk of a double dip recession and accelerated appetite for stocks and other riskier assets, to the detriment of less risky government bonds.
But U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday, after a report on the European banking system reawakened fears about the region's financial health. A Wall Street Journal report raised questions about bank stress tests carried out in the eurozone earlier in the year.
"People have come back to work today feeling they were a little over exuberant in the reaction to Friday's payrolls number. It was not as a bad as expected but certainly not a harbinger of gangbusters economic growth going forward," said Thomas Simons, money market economist at Jefferies & Co. in New York.
U.S. employment fell for a third straight month in August, but by less than expected, while within the report, private payrolls growth was surprisingly high.
Bond markets observed a recommended close on Monday for the U.S. Labor Day public holiday, which marks the unofficial end of the summer. Typically, trading volumes rise in the early part of this week.
As stocks slipped, that restored some safe haven bidding for Treasuries.
"Consistent with the price action in equities, bond yields are generally lower," wrote T.J. Marta, founder and market strategist with research firm Marta on the Markets in Scotch Plains, N.J. in a research note.
Auctions of $21 billion in 10-year notes and $13 billion in 30-year bonds will follow later this week.
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