Treasury bonds: Rates edge lower

Treasury bonds, notes traded at lower rates as jobs report met expectations. The rate on 30-year Treasury bonds fell to 4.49 percent.

Frank Polich/Reuters/File
A trader in the 10-year bond options pit at the Chicago Board of Trade signals orders Nov. 3, 2010. Yields on Treasury bonds and notes edged down April 1, 2011, as the March jobs report met expectations.

Treasury prices edged up Friday after a government report on hiring remained within investor expectations.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note rose 19 cents per $100 invested. Its yield, which moves in the opposite direction, fell to 3.45 percent from 3.46 percent late Thursday.

The Labor Department said Friday that the economy added 216,000 new jobs in March and the unemployment rate slipped to a two-year low of 8.8 percent from 8.9 percent. The average hourly earnings remained unchanged, quelling fears about wage inflation.

RELATED: 2011 forecasts for interest rates around the world

The unemployment rate matched what traders had expected. They predicted a solid hiring increase based on previous positive jobs reports.

"The market was pricing in something stronger than the numbers," said John Spinello, bond strategist at Jefferies & Co.

If the labor market gathers steam, that could convince the Federal Reserve to pull back its bond-buying program designed to boost the economy. Recent comments from some regional Fed presidents suggest that the central bank would consider that course of action.

In other trading, the price of the 30-year bond rose 34 cents per $100 invested, while its yield fell to 4.49 percent from 4.51 percent late Thursday. The yield on the two-year note slipped to 0.81 percent from 0.83 percent.

RELATED: 2011 forecasts for interest rates around the world

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