US Treasurys drop on productivity gains, ECB hopes

Associated Press Modified: September 5, 2012 at 4:15 pm •  Published: September 5, 2012

U.S. Treasury prices fell Wednesday on gains in worker productivity and hopes of a new European Central Bank aid plan for struggling European governments.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note fell 18.8 cents for every $100 invested. That helped push the yield up to 1.6 percent from 1.58 percent late Tuesday.

The Labor Department reported U.S. productivity rose at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in April-June, up from an initial estimate of 1.6 percent. The ECB meets Thursday to discuss how to help struggling countries like Spain. Investors expect the central bank will announce plans to buy government debt to help lower borrowing costs for those countries.

Any sign that the 17-country euro zone may avoid a catastrophic break-up tends to send investors out of Treasurys, a so-called safe-haven asset in troubled times.

The price of the 30-year bond fell 46.9 cents for every $100 invested. The yield rose to 2.71 percent from 2.68 percent.

In other Treasury trading, the yield on the five-year note was unchanged at 0.62 percent. The yield on the two-year note was also unchanged, at 0.24 percent.

The yield on the three-month Treasury bill rose to 0.11 percent from 0.9 percent.

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