European debt crisis pushes rates lower

An auction of 2-year Treasurys sells for 0.769%, a record low, as many investors seek safety from stock market and currency volatility.

By Charley Blaine May 25, 2010 1:42PM
Updated: 7:05 p.m. ET

If nothing else, the European debt crisis is pushing U.S. interest rates substantially lower.

Today's evidence: a $42 billion auction of two-year Treasury notes produced a record-low yield of 0.769%.
The bid-to-cover ratio, a key measure of investor demand, was 2.93, meaning there were $2.93 of bids for every dollar auction. That was down from the recent average of $3.09.

The auction was accompanied by a drop in yields across the world of bonds. The 10-year Treasury yield was 3.16% at the end of the day, down from 3.23% on Monday and 3.66% on April 30.

That's great for homebuyers, if they want to buy. Bankrate.com put the national average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate at 4.87% today, close to the lowest rates of the year.

The rate on a four-year loan for a new car is 6.34%, down from 6.41% a week ago and 6.8% at the beginning of the year.

It's a disaster for savers. A six-month certificate of deposit earns 0.89%, down from 0.9% last week and 5.3% in July 2006.

Interest rates have declined as investors have sought safety and bought U.S. dollar and bonds.
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