NEW YORK — Bond prices rose in slow trading Tuesday, in what traders described as a modest technical rebound from their recent extended decline.
The Treasury's closely watched 30-year bond gained 3/16 point, or $1.87 for every $1,000 in face value. Its yield, which moves inversely to its price, slipped to 9.33% from 9.35% late Monday.
Traders didn't attach great significance to the advance, which came a day after bond prices hit five-month lows amid continued worries about inflation. The last time the 30-year bond's yield was higher was in December, when it was 9.40%.
"The market is so exhausted that it had a small reflex action," said Jay Goldinger, a principal of Capital Insight, an investment firm in Beverly Hills.
He said the market was unimpressed by the government's report that orders for "big ticket" durable goods rose 0.8% last month to a seasonally adjusted $116.3 billion.
In the secondary market for Treasury bonds, prices of short-term government issues finished 1/32 point lower to 1/32 point higher, intermediate maturities edged up 1/32 point to 1/16 point, and long-term issues rose 7/32 point, according to figures provided by Telerate Inc., a financial information service.
The movement of a point is equivalent to a change of $10 in the price of a bond with a $1,000 face value.
The Merrill Lynch daily Treasury index, which measures price movements on all outstanding Treasury issues with maturities of a year or longer, was up 0.07 at 108.48. The Shearson Lehman daily Treasury bond index, which makes a similar measurement, advanced 0.93 to 1,135.63.
Moody's investment-grade corporate bond index, which measures price movements on 80 corporate bonds with maturities of five years or longer, rose 0.14 to 274.68.
Yields on three-month Treasury bills, meanwhile, fell 4 basis points to 6.29%. Six-month bills edged down 1 basis point to 6.69% and one-year bills were unchanged at 7%. A basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.
The federal funds rate, the interest on overnight loans between banks, was quoted late in the day at 7%, down from 7.125% late Monday.
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