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US yields mostly flat after data; Ukraine in focus

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Yields on U.S. bonds were little changed on Friday after data showed consumer sentiment dipped modestly in early March while geopolitical tensions surrounding Ukraine supported safe-haven bids.

The preliminary Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan overall index of consumer sentiment fell to 79.9 in March, down from the 81.6 final reading in February and marking the lowest level for the index since November.

Heightened tensions between the West and Russia ahead of Ukraine's weekend referendum in Crimea also drove a flight to quality into safe-haven bonds.

The West has ramped up talks of sanctions while Russia has responded with promises of retaliatory measures.

"We're in a bit of a holding pattern ahead of the event risk this weekend,'' said Ian Lyngen, senior government bond strategist at CRT Capital in Stamford, Connecticut.

Treasury prices gained slightly despite Federal Reserve data on Thursday showing foreign central banks' overall holdings of U.S. marketable securities at the Fed plunged by more than $106 billion in the week ended March 12.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury note was last down 1/32 to yield 2.65 percent, while the 30-year Treasury bond rose 2/32 in price to yield 3.59 percent.

—By Reuters

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