Long bond yields hit multiyear lows on safety buying

US 10-YR
US 30-YR

U.S. Treasurys gained on Monday, led by a sharp rise in the 30-year bond, whose yield dipped to a multiyear low on widening anxieties about Europe's economy and Greece possibly quitting the euro zone.

The yield on the 30-year Treasury was last at 2.62 percent, reflecting a 1-17/32 rise in price, after touching 2.615 percent. That was a low last seen in August 2012.

"It's a risk-off trade we are seeing," said Tom DiGaloma, head of rates and credit trading at ED&F Capital Markets in New York.

Global stock markets were weaker, with Dow Jones Industrial Average off 1 percent in early New York trading. Oil prices hit a 5-1/2 year low.

Prices for benchmark 10-year Treasury notes also climbed, with gains last at 19/32 with a yield of 2.0563 percent, according to Reuters data.

Gains in other maturities were more modest, and shorter maturities generally flat.

The Treasurys rally came as the euro sank to a near nine-year low against the dollar, driven down by a European policymaker's comments that raised expectations the European Central Bank will soon open up a bond-buying program.

German regional inflation figures issued on Monday showed more weakness in December, adding to the downward pressure on the euro and feeding fears the euro zone will sink into disinflation. German 10-year bund yields were up.

Economists forecast that euro zone consumer prices fell 0.1 percent in December, the first decline since 2009 That should fan expectations the ECB will ease at its first policy meeting of the year on Jan. 22.

Greek politics were also at the forefront of market thinking, DiGaloma said, as the debate around the possibility of elections later this month resulting in the country leaving the euro zone picked up again.