US government bond prices eased Friday but pulled off their lows as dour consumer sentiment and a withering stock market put a floor under safe-haven Treasurys.
Bonds trimmed losses briefly after news that a cargo ship contracted by the US military fired warning shots in the Gulf at small boats believed to be Iranian.
Wall Street lost its early optimism after a report showing an index of consumer confidence hit a 26-year low in April. The stock market's slide brought some buyers back into the Treasury market after an earlier sell-off had pushed yields to 3-month highs.
"Now we're watching stocks," said Rick Klingman, managing director of Treasury trading at BNP Paribas in New York.
Benchmark 10-year notes fell 6/32, pushing the yield up to 3.86 percent from 3.84 percent late on Thursday.
The 30-year long bond slid 11/32, lifting its yield to 4.57 percent from 4.55 percent late on Thursday.
Two-year notes were flat on the day in price, yielding 2.41 percent. A sell-off in earlier overseas trade had pushed two-year yields above 2.50 percent, their highest since the middle of January.
Short-dated Treasurys are currently on track for their worst month in more than two decades, based on JPMorgan's government bond index of 1- to 3-year maturities.
The rout in the bond market has come as investors curtailed bets on further rate cuts from the Federal Reserve.