April 2, 2018 / 6:36 PM / 9 months ago

TREASURIES-Prices gain on safety buying as stocks slide

(Updates prices)

* Stock slide adds bid for Treasuries

* Manufacturers saw rising price pressures in March

By Karen Brettell

NEW YORK, April 2 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury yields fell to two month lows on Monday on safety buying as stocks slid, and after a manufacturing report showed an increase in price pressures in March.

Shares in major U.S. technology companies sank again, wiping out the tech-heavy Nasdaq index’s gains for the year and sending the benchmark S&P 500 below a closely watched technical level for the first time in nearly two months.

“People are getting really nervous about equities and that is going to put a bid into bonds,” said Tom di Galoma, a managing director at Seaport Global Holdings in New York.

“I think there are a lot of reasons to be nervous on equities, mainly inflation coming back. The ISM number brought back that prices are higher,” di Galoma added.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity fell to a reading of 59.3 last month from 60.8 in February.

Machinery manufacturers said U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports announced last month were “causing panic buying, driving the near-term prices higher and leading to inventory shortages for non-contract customers.”

Manufacturers of miscellaneous products reported that new tariffs were causing concern across the supply chain.

Benchmark 10-year note prices gained 5/32 in price to yield 2.726 percent, down from 2.744 percent on Friday and the lowest since Feb. 6.

The next major economic catalyst will be Friday’s closely watched jobs report for March.

The U.S. economy added the biggest number of jobs in more than 1-1/2 years in February, at 313,000 jobs, though economists anticipate March’s gains may be more modest.

“We’ve looked at the 14 occasions where payrolls were up over 250,000 in a given month and when you look at the following month, there’s almost an immediate return to trend,” said Thomas Simons, a money market economist at Jefferies in New York.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is due to speak about the economic outlook at an event in Chicago on Friday. (Editing by Jonathan Oatis) )

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