The Treasury 10-year note yield fell to the lowest level this year as a government report showing the economy grew at a slower pace than forecast in the first three months boosted demand for the safest assets.
Company bond sales worldwide are on pace for the slowest February since 2008 as the prospect of rising interest rates in the U.S. and persistent recession in Europe quashes the busiest start to a year on record.
Borrowers are offering the biggest concessions since the start of the year to sell new corporate bonds in the U.S. as Europe’s sovereign-debt turmoil intensifies and signs emerge that America’s economy is weakening.
Treasuries rose as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke refrained from endorsing the use of additional stimulus measures while a government report showed economic growth slowed more than forecast last quarter.
Tax-exempt bonds gained for a fourth straight week, the longest stretch since May, as yields remained higher than U.S. Treasuries and as investors saw the bankruptcy of Jefferson County, Alabama, as an isolated event.