WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - After coming under pressure late in the previous session, treasuries regained some ground during the trading day on Thursday.
Bond prices moved to the upside early in the session and remained firmly positive throughout the day. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, fell by 3.1 basis points to 2.946 percent.
The rebound by treasuries came as traders reacted to the European Central Bank's highly anticipated monetary policy announcement, with the ECB revealing plans to wind down its massive bond-buying program.
The ECB said it plans to reduce the monthly pace of its net asset purchases to 15 billion euros from 30 billion euros after September before completely ending the program at the end of December.
Meanwhile, the ECB left interest rates unchanged and said it expects rates to remain at their present levels at least through the summer of 2019.
'The ECB's announcement that it will end its asset purchases in December is probably a little bolder than markets had expected, but this is tempered by the pledge to keep interest rates on hold for more than a year,' said Jennifer McKeown, Chief European Economist at Capital Economics.
On the U.S. economic front, the Commerce Department released a report showing a much bigger than expected increase in retail sales in the month of May.
The Commerce Department said retail sales jumped by 0.8 percent in May after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.4 percent in April. Economists had expected retail sales to rise by 0.4 percent.
Excluding sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers, retail sales still surged up by 0.9 percent in May following a 0.4 percent increase in April. Ex-auto sales had been expected to climb by 0.5 percent.
A separate report from the Labor Department unexpectedly showed a modest decrease in initial jobless claims in the week ended June 9th.
The report said initial jobless claims edged down to 218,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 222,000. Economists had expected initial jobless claims to inch up to 224,000.
Trading on Friday may be impacted by reaction to reports on industrial production, consumer sentiment, and New York manufacturing activity.
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