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Treasury Dept auctions $34 billion of 5-year notes at a high yield of 1.76%

U.S. government debt prices were trading near flat on Tuesday as investors eyed rising oil prices and digested the results of a note sale.

The Treasury Department auctioned $34 billion in five-year notes at a high yield of 1.76 percent, its highest level since December.

The bid-to-cover ratio, an indicator of demand, was 2.44, above a recent average of 2.42.

Indirect bidders, which include major central banks, were awarded 59.8 percent, below a recent average of 61 percent. Direct bidders, which include domestic money managers, bought 4.5 percent, also below a recent average of 7 percent.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury notes, which moves inversely to price, was lower at around 2.312 percent, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was slightly higher near 3.002 percent.

The yield on the two-year Treasury note hit a high of 1.107 percent in early trade, its highest level since April 8, 2010. It last traded near 1.0824 percent.

Symbol
Yield
 
Change
%Change
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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Earlier, the spread between U.S. and German bond yields hit record highs after the European Central Bank (ECB) pledged support for the euro zone economy.

The spread, or difference, between German and U.S. bond yields spiked after ECB policymakers helped curb a recent sell-off in the bloc's debt by reaffirming their commitment to their easy monetary policy, according to Reuters.

On the data front, existing home sales rose to their highest annual rate since February 2007.

In oil markets, U.S. crude settled at $48.03 a barrel, down 21 cents.

Oil prices spiked around 4 percent on Monday as optimism continued to grow that OPEC would agree on a production cut in a key meeting next week.