Treasurys pare losses after Fed minutes

US 10-YR
US 30-YR

U.S. Treasury debt prices turned flat on Wednesday after the Fed released the minutes from its mid-December meeting.

U.S. central bankers reviewed a broad set of data showing that the economic recovery in the United States was holding its own in a world that was turning in the wrong direction - with recession threatening in Japan and Europe and a slowdown in major emerging markets, according to the minutes.

But with inflation still low, and the economic outlook for the euro zone and Japan darkening, the Fed struggled for how best to square the circle—acknowledging improvement in the United States while not committing to any particular timetable for raising rates.

Thirty-year Treasurys, whose yields on Tuesday approached record lows set in July 2012, were off 2/32 in price on Wednesday after eight straight winning sessions that began on Dec. 24, according to Reuters data.

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The 30-year last yielded 2.50 percent, compared with 2.54 percent before the minutes.

Yields on the benchmark 10-year Treasurys briefly topped 2 percent in New York trading after easing below the signpost level on Tuesday for the first time since October.

The 10-year's yield eased back and was last at 1.95 percent, reflecting a price decline of 3/32, according to Reuters data. A week ago its yield was 2.174 percent.

Most price declines in Treasurys came ahead of the New York open and prices steadied later, indicating the market was consolidating after the government-debt rally and a selloff in equities, according to David Ader, head of government trading at CRT Capital in Stamford, Connecticut.

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On Friday, a closely watched economic indicator, U.S. employment data for December, is to be released and may prod prices up or down.

Shorter-term Treasurys, which are more affected by Fed policy shifts and have moved less in the rally than 10-year and 30-year issues, were off a little in price or unchanged on Wednesday.

On Wall Street, which has slumped for five sessions as investors sought less risky assets, prices rose on strong U.S. private sector jobs data and as deflation concerns in the euro zone were seen pushing the bloc's central bank into action.