Secretary of State Tillerson Tells Japan, Australia, South Korea Counterparts in Calls That U.s. Will Strengthen Military

SECRETARY OF STATE TILLERSON TELLS JAPAN, AUSTRALIA, SOUTH KOREA COUNTERPARTS IN CALLS THAT U.S. WILL STRENGTHEN MILITARY ALLIANCES, ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIPS -STATE DEPARTMENT
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Tillerson, Counterparts Agree on Importance of Close Cooperation on North Korea Threat, Tensions in East and South China

TILLERSON, COUNTERPARTS AGREE ON IMPORTANCE OF CLOSE COOPERATION ON NORTH KOREA THREAT, TENSIONS IN EAST AND SOUTH CHINA SEA -STATE DEPARTMENT
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Treasuries Recover From Initial Weakness To Close Moderately Higher

After initially moving to the downside, treasuries showed a notable turnaround over the course of the trading session on Tuesday.

Bond prices pulled back off their best levels going into the close but remained positive. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, fell by 2.4 basis points to 2.389 percent.

The rebound by treasuries was partly attributable to the safe haven appeal of bonds amid an increase in political uncertainty around the globe.

Treasuries benefited from concerns over the political situation in France and the potential for a “Frexit” as well as lingering uncertainty about President Donald Trump’s policies.

On the economic front, the Commerce Department recently released showing that the U.S. trade deficit narrowed by more than expected in the month of December.

The Commerce Department said the trade deficit narrowed to $44.3 billion in December from a revised $45.7 billion in November.

Economists had expected the deficit to narrow to $45.0 billion from the $45.2 billion originally reported for the previous month.

Treasuries gave back some ground but remained positive following the release of the results of the Treasury Department’s auction of $24 billion worth of three-year notes, which attracted average demand.

The three-year note auction drew a high yield of 1.423 percent and a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.78, while the ten previous three-year note auctions had an average bid-to-cover ratio of 2.81.

The bid-to-cover ratio is a measure of demand that indicates the amount of bids for each dollar worth of securities being sold.

Amid a quiet day on the economic front, bond traders are likely to keep an eye on the Treasury’s auction of $23 billion worth of ten-year notes on Wednesday.

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U.S. Consumer Credit Climbs Less Than Expected In December

After reporting a sharp increase in U.S consumer credit in the previous month, the Federal Reserve released a report on Tuesday showing that consumer credit rose by less than expected in December.

The Fed said consumer credit climbed by $14.2 billion in December after surging up by a revised $25.2 billion in November.

Economists had expected credit to increase by about $20.0 billion compared to the $24.5 billion jump originally reported for the previous month.

The report said non-revolving credit such as student loans and car loans rose by $11.8 billion in December following a $13.4 billion increase in November.

Revolving credit, which largely reflects credit card debt, showed a more modest increase, edging up by $2.4 billion in December after climbing by $11.8 billion in November.

The Fed said consumer credit increased by an annual rate of 4.5 percent in December, as non-revolving credit surged up by 5.1 percent and revolving credit rose by 2.9 percent.

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