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US Treasury yields slide amid retail sales, PPI

Bond traders at CME Group
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U.S. Treasuries prices rose on Friday, with yields hitting their lowest levels in a week, as weaker-than-expected U.S. retail sales and producer prices data reinforced the view of modest economic growth and tame inflation.

The data also supported the notion the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates gradually if it decides to tighten monetary policy.

"We had a weak set of data and people realize the Fed's rate-hike plan will be slow and data-dependent," said Com Crocker, managing director of government and agency securities trading at Mesirow Financial in New York.

The Commerce Department said retail sales edged up 0.1 percent last month, after being unchanged in September, which fell short of the 0.3 percent increase forecast by analysts polled by Reuters.

It also said producer prices fell 0.4 percent last month, following a 0.5 percent drop in September. Economists polled by Reuters had projected a 0.2 percent increase.

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Yield
 
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US 3-MO
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US 1-YR
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US 2-YR
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US 5-YR
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US 10-YR
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US 30-YR
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The disappointing data were mitigated by a University of Michigan report that showed a stronger-than-expected improvement in U.S. consumer sentiment in early November.

Bids for Treasuries were further stoked by losses on Wall Street, with the S&P 500 index losing 1.1 percent, and by less bond supply, traders and analysts said.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield was last at 2.2772 percent, down from late on Thursday.

The 10-year yield has fallen 4 basis points on the week, snapping three straight weekly increases.

The 30-year bond yield was at 3.0584 percent, down about 4 basis points for the week.

The U.S. Treasury Department this week sold $64 billion of debt for its quarterly refunding to mostly solid investor demand.

Companies have raised $29 billion in the investment-grade credit market this week, according to IFR, a unit of Thomson Reuters.

"We had supply, both government and corporate, this week, which has been well received. There is still a lot of cash on sidelines to put to work," Crocker said.

While Friday's retail and producer price reports dialed down some expectations of a December rate hike, a number of top Fed officials have signaled such a move is likely barring a sharp deterioration in the economy and financial markets.

"Uncertainty about the longer-run destination is not an argument to delay taking the first step," Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said on Friday.