Treasury Department auctions $16B of 30-year bonds at a high yield of 3.070%

Traders in the 10-year bond options pit at the Chicago Board of Trade signal orders.
Frank Polich | Reuters

U.S. Treasurys prices held steady on Thursday as losses on Wall Street stocks revived safehaven demand for government debt.

The Treasury Department auctioned $16 billion in 30-year bonds at a high yield of 3.07 percent, the highest since July. The bid-to-cover ratio, an indicator of demand, was 2.41, versus an average of 2.32.

A heavy schedule of public speeches from top Federal Reserve officials also kept some investors on the sidelines as they await possible fresh clues on whether the central bank might raise interest rates at its Dec. 15-16 meeting.

"The sell-off in stocks has brought some safehaven bids back into bonds. It's taken some of the starch from the recent bond sell-off," said Larry Milstein, head of government and agency trading at R.W. Pressprich & Co. in New York.

Major U.S. stock indexes fell in the wake of disappointing corporate results. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 0.6 percent.

Benchmark 10-year Treasurys notes were little changed in price to yield 2.312 percent, flat from Tuesday.


The U.S. bond market was closed on Wednesday for the Veterans Day holiday.

This week's refunding has been competing with the latest wave of corporate bond supply. So far this week, companies have raised more than $21 billion in the investment-grade credit market, according to IFR, a Thomson Reuters unit.

In the meantime, six Fed officials were set to make public appearances on Thursday.

Earlier Thursday, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard repeated his support for the Fed raising interest rates.