Treasurys rise, demand strong at five-year auction



Treasurys accelerated gains on Wednesday following strong demand for a sale of five-year notes, helped by safe-haven demand as Russia put troops on alert for war games near Ukraine.

Demand was strong for a five-year note auction and the debt sold around a basis point lower in yield than where the notes had traded before the sale. The Treasury sold $35 billion in five-year notes at a high yield of 1.53 percent.

Worries over instability in Ukraine overcame better-than-expected data on U.S. single-family home sales, which surged to a 5-1/2-year high in January, surprising analysts after news last week that housing starts fell by the most in nearly three years due to severe winter weather.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes inched up 11/32 in price to yield 2.665 percent. Thirty-year bonds were up 21/32 in price, pushing yields down to 3.630 percent from Tuesday's close of 3.625 percent.

Ten-year note yields have held in a 2.65 to 2.78 percent range for two weeks and traders see them as unlikely to move out of it until there is fresh information about the health of the U.S. economy.

The Fed bought $1.25 billion in treasuries maturing between 2038 and 2043 as part of its continuing bond buying program.

The Treasury will sell $29 billion in seven-year treasury notes on Thursday in its final sale of coupon-bearing debt this week.

—By Reuters