U.S. government debt prices were higher Monday morning as the U.S. coronavirus death toll passed 170,000, while House lawmakers were called back to Washington amid a standoff on Postal Service funding.
Figures released over the weekend showed that 733,000 people were tested for Covid-19 daily in August, versus 750,000 in July, with the U.S. having recorded more than 5.4 million cases and flu season imminent.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has recalled lawmakers to Washington to defend the U.S. Postal Service from a cost-cutting campaign by President Trump’s appointed chief. Pelosi accused Trump of “openly working to destroy the post office” in a bid to prevent mail-in ballots being delivered on time for November’s election.
Democrats have included USPS and electoral infrastructure funding in their demands on a new coronavirus relief bill, a key sticking point for the White House.
Data on Friday showed retail sales rose 1.2% for the month of July, missing the expected increase of 2.3% from economists surveyed by Dow Jones. However, excluding autos, the gain was 1.9%, which was above the 1.2% estimate.
Auctions will be held Monday for $54 billion of 13-week Treasury bills and $51 billion of 26-week bills. No major economic data is expected Monday.