* Data raise questions about U.S. growth
* Long bonds post biggest price gains
* Iraq fighting adds to gains
By Michael Connor
NEW YORK, June 25 U.S. Treasuries prices jumped
on Wednesday after government data showed the U.S. economy took
a much worse bruising in early 2014 than previously calculated.
Despite more recent economic reports illustrating good
growth, yields on 30-year Treasuries fell to 3.371
percent from Tuesday's closing 3.403 percent.
Thirty-year prices, which were already up on buying by
investors rattled by fighting in Iraq, were up 22/32.
Benchmark 10-year notes were up 13/32 to yield
2.541 percent, versus 2.58 percent late on Tuesday. The yield
touched a low of 2.529 percent shortly after the U.S. revision
of gross domestic product during January, February and March.
"The GDP numbers were worse than expected, and that's in
boldface and capital letters," said strategist Lou Brien at DRW
Trading in Chicago.
America's GDP fell at a 2.9 percent annual rate, the
economy's worst performance in five years, instead of the 1.0
percent drop it had reported last month, according to the U.S.
"This means the Fed the next time it forecasts will have to
revise downward its 2014 estimates," Brien said. "It just makes
them look silly."
Brien said softness in consumer spending, which accounts for
more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, was especially
worrisome. It increased at a 1.0 percent rate but had been
previously reported to have advanced at a 3.1 percent pace.
Economists estimate severe weather could have slashed as
much as 1.5 percentage points from GDP growth in the first
quarter. The government, however, gave no details on the impact
of the weather.
The government also reported on Wednesday that orders for
long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods unexpectedly fell in May,
another counter to hopes a strong rebound in growth is under
Prices of shorter-maturity Treasuries rose more modestly
than longer-dated issues but the asset group as a whole was also
getting a lift along with other global debt from jitters over
Iraq, investors said.
"Iraq tensions have overshadowed relatively good economic
data this week," said Lorne Baring, managing director of B
Capital Wealth Management in Geneva. "Investors are still
concerned about American foreign policy and what will be the
next step in terms of any military intervention as opposed to
diplomacy in the Middle East region."
Militants attacked one of Iraq's largest air bases as the
first U.S. teams arrived to assess the Iraqi security forces and
decide how to help counter a mounting Sunni insurgency. Advances
by militants have threatened to rupture the country two and a
half years after the withdrawal of U.S. troops.
(Reporting by Michael Connor; Editing by James Dalgleish)