U.S. Treasurys yields rose on Wednesday with benchmark yields hitting 1-1/2 week highs as encouraging economic data on the Europe and United States and cautious optimism about Greece's debt negotiation spurred selling in bonds for a second day.
China's decision to cut bank reserve requirements, the first such move in more than two years, in an attempt to stem slowing economic growth also reduced safehaven appetite for Treasurys, analysts said.
Wednesday's sell-off continued a market reversal from a stellar January when Treasurys posted their best month in over six years. On Tuesday, the 10-year yield recorded its largest one-day rise since November 2013 and the 30-year yield its biggest single-day jump since July 2013, according to Reuters data.
"We got follow-through selling from Tuesday. There's some optimism on the Greece debt negotiation," said Larry Milstein, head of U.S. government and agency trading at R.W. Pressprich & Co. in New York.
Greece's new government appealed to the European Central Bank to keep its banks afloat and pledged to respect European Union rules as the cash-strapped nation seeks to strike a deal with euro zone partners to reduce its debt burden.
A business survey showed the euro zone private sector grew at its fastest pace in six months in January due to steep discounting among regional firms. In the U.S., the ADP National Employment Report said domestic private employers added 213,000 jobs in January, the lowest gain since September but it was offset by an upward revision of the December increase. Moreover, the Institute for Supply Management said its gauge on U.S. services sector unexpectedly ticked up in January, although its employment component fell.
Still persistent worries about a weakening global economy will likely keep U.S. yields from rising much further from current levels ahead of Friday's payrolls report. "This is a 'buy-the-dip' environment. We are in a weak growth and low inflation climate globally," Milstein said. Solid appetite for Treasuries bodes well for next week's quarterly refunding that involves the sale of $64 billion in fixed-rate securities, analysts said.
In midday trading, benchmark 10-year note yields reached as high as 1.846 percent, the highest in 1-1/2 weeks before slipping to 1.82 percent, up 4 basis points from late on Tuesday. The yield hit a three-week high at 0.540 percent. It last traded flat at 0.496 percent.