TREASURIES-Prices dip in year's first trading day
* Volumes could continue light on Thursday * Jobless claims dip but seasonality clouds data value * Manufacturing data due late in session By Luciana Lopez NEW YORK, Jan 2 (Reuters) - Prices for U.S. Treasuries slid on Thursday in the first trading day of the year, pushing yields further up to multi-year highs as investors looked ahead to key manufacturing data. Data early in the session showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell for a second week last week, adding to recent evidence that the U.S. economic recovery is gathering momentum. But analysts cautioned that the data reflected seasonal volatility, muting the figures' impact on the market. "This one's not really worth paying attention to until about the end of January, when we should start to see what I would say are cleaner claims number" as the holiday season's effects fade, said Gennadiy Goldberg, a U.S. strategist with TD Securities in New York. "I still think the trend is lower," he added. Nonetheless, the data seem to reflect relatively little volatility, said Jacob Oubina, senior economist at RBC Capital Markets in New York. "It's shocking how stable the number is given all the volatility we have this time of the year from the seasonal adjustments and holiday retail hiring," he said. "So from that perspective, that's a welcome sign." Instead, Goldberg said, markets were looking to figures on the U.S. manufacturing sector in December, due at 10 a.m. (1500 GMT). Analysts in a Reuters poll expect manufacturing growth to slow slightly after hitting a two-and-a-half-year high in November. Volumes, low in recent sessions, could continue light on Thursday, with many traders still out on end-of-year holidays. The U.S. 30-year bond fell 4/32 in price to yield 3.949 percent from 3.942 percent late on Tuesday. The 10-year Treasury note slid 2/32 in price to yield 3.013 percent, compared to 3.006 percent late on Tuesday. Markets were closed on Wednesday for the New Year's holiday. The 10-year yield broke above the psychologically key number of 3 percent last week, hitting its highest in more than two years after the Federal Reserve last month said it would slow its massive bond-buying program. The pullback in the Fed's purchases, to $75 billion per month in Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities from $85 billion, capped months of speculation about when the U.S. central bank might see enough improvement in the world's biggest economy to withdraw some of its stimulus. That speculation helped drive a jump of about 125 basis points in the benchmark U.S. 10-year yield last year. Nevertheless, Fed policymakers have suggested they will hold short-term interest rates near zero for an extended time. Now investors are looking to see how the Fed might act under a new chair, Janet Yellen, expected to take the reins from Ben Bernanke in the first quarter. Yellen is widely perceived as dovish, with a close interest in boosting employment.
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