- - Thursday, March 24, 2011

TREASURY

Prices dip on signs of stabilizing job market

NEW YORK | U.S. Treasury prices fell on signs that the labor market might be on the mend.

Traders often move money into Treasuries when they are nervous about the health of the economy. Signs that the economy is improving lead them to sell bonds.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note fell 40.62 cents for every $100 invested Thursday. That pushed the yield up to 3.41 percent from 3.36 percent late Wednesday. Bond yields rise when their prices fall.

The 30-year bond fell 25 cents, sending the yield up to 4.47 percent from 4.44 percent the day before.

EURO

6 non-euro countries join ‘pact for the euro’

BRUSSELS | The president of the European Council says six non-euro countries have decided to join an agreement by eurozone leaders to make their economies more competitive.

Herman Van Rompuy said in a Twitter message that Poland, Bulgaria, Denmark, Romania, Malta and Cyprus will join the so-called “pact for the euro.”

As part of the pact, leaders commit their countries to hit annual benchmarks on aligning salaries with actual increases in productivity and getting rid of early retirement ages.

The pact was originally designed for the 17 countries that use the euro, since the common currency makes their economies very dependent on each other. However, non-euro countries were invited to join.

OIL

Crude settles below $106 a barrel

NEW YORK | After government reports gave a mixed read on the U.S. economic recovery, oil prices on Thursday settled close to where they began.

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