By William Watts, MarketWatch

Treasurys rose modestly Thursday, pulling down yields, after data pointed to lackluster private-sector jobs growth a day ahead of the government's official December employment report.

ADP Inc. said private-sector employers added 153,000 jobs in December (, down from a lowered November figure of 215,000 and below economist expectations. The figures come a day ahead of the Labor Department's December jobs report. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch are forecasting it to show nonfarm payrolls rose by 183,000, up from 178,000 in November.

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell 3.1 basis points to 2.421%, according to Tradeweb, while the 2-year yield declined 3.6 basis points to 1.459%. The 30-year T-bond yield fell 2.3 basis points to 3.025%. Yields fall as debt prices rise.

"Taken literally, the data suggest downside risk to the [Bureau of Labor Statistics] report on Friday...However, as we discussed in our latest Daily Notes, the deviation between the ADP data and the BLS data has been larger, on average, in December than in any other month," wrote Jim O'Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.

Meanwhile, the number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits after the December holidays fell by 28,000, hugging close to a 43-year low (

Treasury yields turned lower Wednesday ( afternoon to end the day little-changed after minutes of the Federal Reserve's December meeting sounded less hawkish than investors had anticipated.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 05, 2017 09:20 ET (14:20 GMT)

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