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US Treasury prices rise slightly after economic data; Trump-May meeting

Bond traders at CME Group
Getty Images

U.S. government debt prices were higher on Friday as investors digested the release of several pieces of data, after a meeting with Donald Trump and U.K. prime minister Theresa May.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was lower at around 2.486 percent, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was also higher at 3.061 percent. Yields move inversely to prices.

The U.S. economy lost momentum in the final three months of 2016, closing out a year in which growth turned in the weakest performance in five years. The Commerce Department says the gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of just 1.9 percent in the October-December period.

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"The headline number was a bit softer [than expected], but some of the underlying data were pretty solid," said Marc Bushallow, managing director of fixed income at Manning & Napier. He also said he expects yields to move higher in the next 12-to-24 months.

"Everyone was taught to buy the dip every time Treasurys fell over the past few years. I think we're going to see a shift away from that," he said.

Durable goods orders, meanwhile, fell 0.4 percent in December. Consumer sentiment for January hit 98.5, above an estimate of 98.1.

Overseas, German bunds were headed for their worst week since the aftermath of November's U.S. election on Friday, as Donald Trump's first week in office fuels expectations of inflation and growth-boosting policies in the world's biggest economy.

The 10-year German bund yield traded flat on Friday, near 0.46 percent.

Italy has also been badly hit in a broad debt market sell-off on fears the country is headed for early elections, adding to the political risks stalking Europe with France, the Netherlands and Germany also holding polls in 2017.

While the rout that has pushed German and other euro zone yields to around one-year highs this week ebbed on Friday, investors digested a joint press conference with May and Trump. Trump said he believes Brexit will be "wonderful" for Britain.

Trump is expected to meet with leaders from Russia, France, and Germany over the weekend.

— CNBC's Luqman Adeniyi, Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.