TREASURIES-Prices rise in safety buying ahead of hurricane shutdown
* Treasuries set for early close due to Hurricane Sandy
* Investors looking ahead to Friday's labor market data
* Sept U.S. consumer spending rises 0.8 percent
NEW YORK, Oct 29 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury debt prices rose on Monday as a perceived rise in political risks in Italy and concerns about the strength of the U.S. economic recovery fueled safe-haven buying in thin trade as Hurricane Sandy was on track to pummel the U.S. East Coast. The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association said it is recommending an early close of noon EDT (1600 GMT) on Monday for the trading of U.S. dollar-denominated, fixed-income securities as Sandy is set to hit much of the East Coast, including New York. The storm has already forced U.S. stock markets to close today. ``We are seeing a bit of a flight to quality ahead of the early closure,'' said Kim Rupert, managing director of global fixed income analysis at Action Economics in San Francisco. In Europe, a threat by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to withdraw support for Mario Monti's government pushed Italian and Spanish yields higher and supported safe-haven German Bunds. A string of disappointing corporate earnings and lackluster U.S. third-quarter gross domestic product data was also supportive for Treasuries. Benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury notes were trading 11/32 higher in price to yield 1.71 percent, down from 1.75 percent late Friday, while 30-year bonds were trading 26/32 higher to yield 2.87 percent from 2.91 percent. The U.S. Treasury moved up its 4-week bill auction to Monday from the previously scheduled Tuesday due to the deteriorating weather conditions in Washington and said its 13-week and 26-week bill auctions will close at the regularly scheduled time on Monday. The 4-week bill auction will now close at 10:30 am EDT on Monday, the Treasury said in a statement. The 13-week and 26-week auctions are scheduled to close at 11:30 a.m. EDT. Apart from the storm, investors were also closely watching the increasingly tight presidential race between Republican Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama. Friday's non-farm payrolls report for October could not only shed light on the nascent labor market recovery but also influence support for the two candidates. Treasuries trade did not waver on data showing U.S. consumer spending rose solidly in September as households stepped up purchases of automobiles and a range of other goods. The Commerce Department said on Monday consumer spending increased 0.8 percent after a unrevised 0.5 percent gain in August.