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Treasury Bond Prices Fall

February 13, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) _ Treasury bond prices were mostly lower Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told Congress that the economy nearly stalled out at the start of the year and still faces serious risks.

The price of the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell 5/32 point, or $1.56 per $1,000 in face value. Its yield, which moves in the opposite direction, rose to 5.06 percent compared with 5.04 percent late Monday.

But the 30-year Treasury bond rose 1/8 point to yield 5.41 percent, down slightly from 5.42 percent a day earlier, according to Bridge Telerate news service. Short-term Treasurys were down 3/32 to 7/32 point, while intermediate maturities fell 5/32 point.

The modest selling came after Greenspan, delivering the Fed’s semiannual economic report to Congress, signaled that the central bank, which has already reduced interest rates by a full percentage point this year, is ready to do more to combat the threat of a recession.

But while discussing the dramatic slowdown in growth that occurred at the end of last year, Greenspan said he did not believe the economy had entered a recession.

Meanwhile, shortly before Greenspan spoke, the government reported that retail sales surged by a strong 0.7 percent in January, the biggest increase since September and a strong improvement from a lackluster 0.1 percent December gain.

In otehr trading Tuesday, yields on three-month Treasury bills were 5.03 percent with a discount rate of 4.91 percent, up 0.01 percentage point from Monday’s auction level.

Yields are the interest bonds pay by maturity, while the discount is the interest at which they are sold.

Six-month yields were 4.95 percent with a discount rate of 4.77 percent, up 0.02 percentage point from Monday’s auction.

One-year yields shot higher to 4.76 percent with a discount of 4.57 percent, up 0.06 percentage from late Monday.

The federal funds rate, the interest on overnight loans between banks, fell to 5.44 percent from 5.50 percent.

In the tax-exempt market, the Bond Buyer index of 40 actively traded municipal bonds fell 1/32 point to 104 1/16. The average yield to maturity rose to 5.40 percent compared with late Monday’s 5.39 percent.

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