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US bonds continue downward trend; Federal Reserve in focus

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Prices on U.S. 30-year Treasury bonds fell more than a point early Monday as Wall Street stock prices added to initial gains, further reducing the appeal of lower-yielding government debt.

The 30-year bond was down as much 1-4/32 points in price before trimming its decline. The 30-year yield was 3.594 percent, up 5 basis points from late on Friday.

The 30-year yield was on track to fall 35 basis points for its first quarterly decline since the second quarter of 2012, according to Reuters data.

Yields (which move in the opposite direction of prices) on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes—used to calculate mortgage rates and other consumer loans—rose to 2.746 percent on Monday, from 2.712 percent at the end of trade on Friday.

Yields on 2-year, 5-year and 30-year Treasury notes were also higher on Monday.

In the day's only key economic readings, the pace of business activity in the U.S. Midwest fell more than expected in March to its lowest since August, resuming its recent trend of slower regional growth, a report showed on Monday.

Read MoreUS Midwest business activity lowest since August

In addition, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said in a speech on Monday that the Federal Reserve will continue to bolster the U.S. economy, given the halting pace of the recovery and a still moribund job market.

Read MoreYellen: Fed's 'extraordinary' policy to be around for the long haul

However, the big release of this week will be Friday's employment report, with the March number expected to be better than February's 175,000 new jobs.

"While the Fed's updated forward policy guidance is no longer centered on the unemployment rate, the monthly employment report on Friday will inevitably be closely watched for any improvement at the end of the first quarter," said Daiwa Capital Markets' Chris Scicluna in a morning research note.

By Reuters. CNBC contributed to this report.

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