Treasurys dip in shortened post-holiday trading

U.S. Treasurys

Prices for Treasury bonds dipped slightly on Friday in subdued trading, with investors looking ahead to key data next week in the absence of any significant economic releases on the day's schedule.

Trading was quiet the day after markets closed for the Thanksgiving holiday. The market is scheduled to close early on Friday, as well, at 2 pm ET.

Still, month-end buying could kick in later in the session, "but possibly less than originally thought given Wednesday's late buying," said Richard Gilhooly, an interest rate strategist at TD Securities in New York.

The benchmark 10-year note slipped 8/32 in price to yield 2.764 percent on Friday, compared to 2.736 percent late on Wednesday.

The securities could stay stuck in recent yield ranges for the next month.

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"We see a 10-year range of 2.50 percent to 3.00 percent for the rest of the year - fade range extremes as the market approaches those levels," said John Briggs, U.S. rates strategist at RBS Securities in Stamford, Connecticut.

The 30-year bond fell 14/32 in price to yield 3.837 percent on Friday, compared to 3.8120 percent late on Wednesday.

With the day's slate of economic events empty, investors instead looked to key data set for release on Friday, Dec. 6: nonfarm payrolls data for the month of November.

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U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers are closely watching nonfarm payrolls data, including the unemployment report, as a gauge of the health of the world's biggest economy.

Policymakers say they want to see a steady, self-sustaining recovery in the labor market before they pull back on their quantitative easing program, under which the Fed currently buys $85 billion of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities every month.

The timing of the Fed's so-called taper has become key not just for the Treasuries market but for markets around the world, ever since Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke began hinting at an exit in May.

But recent economic data have proven mixed, injecting added uncertainty over when the Fed might slow or even stop its asset purchases.

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