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Jul 27, 2018

Bonds at Close I CNBC

US GDP data and trade relations eyed

Alexandra Gibbs, Thomas Franck

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note slipped on Friday after the government reported that economic growth jumped 4.1 percent in the second quarter, its best pace in nearly four years.
The gross domestic product data matched expectations from economists polled by Reuters and was buoyed by an uptick in consumer spending, exports and business investment. The GDP growth rate is the fastest since the third quarter of 2014 and the third-best growth rate since the Great Recession; the Department of Commerce also revised its first-quarter reading up to 2.2 percent from 2 percent.
The yield on 10-year Treasury note was a touch lower at around 2.963 percent at 3:54 p.m. ET, down from a session high of 2.988 percent, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond slipped to 3.091 percent. Bond yields move inversely to prices.
Prior to the GDP data, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said in an interview with Fox Business Network Thursday, that he expected that U.S. GDP for the second-quarter would be "very good."
"You're going to get a very good economic growth number tomorrow. Big," Kudlow said.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump stated during a speech at an Illinois-based steel facility yesterday, that he would be satisfied with economic growth of about 4 percent or above.
The administration has employed a variety of of tax cuts, deregulation and spending increases to goad growth. However, some economists wonder whether the high growth rates will be sustainable especially in light of historically low levels of unemployment.
Federal Reserve officials, too, are less certain GDP can remain above 4 percent. The central bankers forecast GDP to rise 2.8 percent for all of 2018 but then to tail off to 2.4 percent in 2019 and 2 percent in 2020.
The economic report "suggests growth is still moving beyond its potential. When you average the first and second quarters together you get 3.1 percent whereas the Fed bogey is closer to 2 percent," said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James. "So the important point for the Fed — and the message from the June statement — is that they still see policy as accommodative."
Aside from the GDP data, consumer sentiment for July is due out at 10 a.m. ET. No auctions by the U.S. Treasury however are scheduled Friday.
Elsewhere, the European Central Bank decided to keep its interest rates on hold on Thursday. During the press conference, the central bank discussed trade relations and the state of the economy, with President Mario Draghi telling reporters that the euro zone still required "significant monetary policy stimulus." No Fed speeches are due today.
Concerns surrounding trade will remain in focus, as investors wonder what's next for relations between the U.S. and major economies.
While tensions between the States and China remain strained, earlier this week Trump announced that the U.S. and the European Union would begin collaborating to lower tariffs, in order to avoid a potential trade war.
—CNBC's Jeff Cox and Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report

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