TREASURIES-U.S. bonds stabilise, weekly jobless data eyed
LONDON, April 18 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasuries steadied in Europe on Thursday with 10-year yields holding near their lowest in more than four months and investors looking for further impetus from weekly jobless claims due later in the day. The Treasury market paused for breath after a sharp rally the previous day in the wake of a selloff in U.S. equities triggered by profit concerns and sliding commmodity prices. The 10-year T-note yielded 1.695 percent, unchanged from late U.S. trade and within sight of Wednesday's intraday low of 1.673 percent, its lowest in over four months. "There was a big drop in yields yesterday and we're recuperating from that and waiting for more direction from data later today," said Philip Marey, a strategist at Rabobank. "The issue in the market is the slowdown in China and in the U.S. So now the main focus for the day will be the jobless claims which will give us some sense of where we are now in terms of employment growth and, with the Philly Fed, whether the economic slowdown in March was just temporary." The Philadelphia Fed's factory index due at 1400 GMT is forecast to rise to 3.0 in April from 2.0 last month, according to the consensus outcome of a Reuters poll of economists. Before that, weekly data is expected to show the number of Americans filing weekly jobless claims edged up to 350,000 from 346,000. "We have had a series of disappointing U.S. data, starting from the ISM manufacturing index to employment and retail sales. If the economic data continues to disappoint, the 10-year yield could head to 1.6 percent," said Shinichiro Kadota, strategist at Barclays in Tokyo. These weak numbers fanned expectations the Federal Reserve will maintain the pace of its bond buying unchanged at $85 billion for now. Treasuries were also supported by comments from European Central Bank Governing Council member Jens Weidmann on Wednesday that Europe's economic recovery could take as much as another decade and that the ECB may cut rates if the economy weakens.