NEW YORK, Sept 7 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury yields fell on Thursday, as weak U.S. jobless claims data and worries about the impact of hurricanes Irma and Harvey on the world’s largest economy stoked safe-haven demand for government debt.
“The action today has something to do a little bit with the data, and the hurricanes, and clearly there are also geopolitical headlines in the background,” said Subadra Rajappa, head of U.S. rates strategy, at Societe Generale in New York.
Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful storms to hit the Atlantic in a century, was on track to reach Florida on Saturday or Sunday, becoming the second major hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland in as many weeks.
Hurricane Harvey, which hit Texas and Louisiana more than a week ago, has claimed 60 lives and caused property damage estimated as high as $180 billion.
Economists said Harvey could weigh on gross domestic product for the third quarter.
The storm caused U.S. initial jobless claims to spike to a two-year high. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits surged by 62,000 to a seasonally adjusted 298,000 for the week ended Sept. 2, the highest since April 2015.
The weekly increase was the largest since November 2012. A Labor Department official said the data had been impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
Ian Lyngen, head of U.S. rates strategy at BMO Capital Markets, said he expects the hurricanes to be just a “temporary factor.”
In mid-morning trading, benchmark 10-year Treasury yields fell to 2.049 percent, from 2.106 percent late on Wednesday. Ten-year yields fell to their lowest since Nov. 10.
Yields had recovered from lows on Wednesday after a congressional fiscal plan that includes a three-month suspension of the debt ceiling gained support from U.S. President Donald Trump.
U.S. 30-year bond yields dropped to 2.663 percent, down from 2.723 percent the previous session and also the lowest since November.
Treasury yields were further pressured by declines in German government bonds after the European Central Bank lowered its inflation forecast to reflect a surging euro. Germany’s benchmark 10-year bond yield fell almost 3 basis points to 0.31 percent, its lowest level since late June. (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)