Treasuries ended the week on a more positive note on Friday, a turnaround following a selloff which began on Tuesday when the U.S. Federal Reserve cut its benchmark interest rate to give a boost to the economy, setting off some inflation concerns.
Investors bought strongly in the 10 and 30 year maturities, reversing much of the losses suffered in the wake of a half percent cut in the Federal funds rate to 4.75 percent.
Benchmark 10-year notes closed on Friday up half a point, or 16/32, for a 4.63 percent yield. The 30-year long bond rose 17/32 for a yield of 4.89 percent. Meanwhile, the two-year note was up less rising just 3/32, offering a 4.05 yield.
The inflation concerns were a worry for Treasuries investors. The bonds provide a fixed income and decline in value as inflation rises. Yet after heavy losses on Wednesday and Thursday, Fridayâ€™s gains were a relief.
Treasury prices had reached their lowest prices in a month and investors may have seen Friday as low point where it was safe to buy again.
The Fedâ€™s interest rate cut on Tuesday had been steeper many analysts had expected. Fed Chief Ben Bernanke told lawmakers at a congressional hearing this week that the Fed had eased rates to â€œget out aheadâ€ of the credit crisis which has roiled the financial and mortgage markets. The move was made in an effort to prevent problems in those areas from having an impact on the broader economy.
In the days and weeks prior to the cut, Fed officials had said that they did not want bail out speculators who had made bad bets on home buyers with poor credit histories. However at Tuesdayâ€™s meeting of policy makers, they decided that the risk of allowing further damage to the economy by keeping interest rates high was too great.
As a result, stocks rallied this week on expectations that lower interest rates would make it easier for companies and consumers to borrow. However, as a result of cheaper access to money, currency investors sold off the dollar, which reached record lows against the euro and other currencies.
Beneficiaries of the dollarâ€™s decline included oil and gold investors who saw higher prices for those commodities as funds pumped into those investments which appeared safer.