US Treasurys edge higher amid political uncertainty; auctions eyed

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

U.S. government debt prices were higher on Monday as investors prepared for Treasury auctions later in the trading week, while political uncertainty increased the appeal of safe-haven assets.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury notes, which moves inversely to price, was lower at around 2.419 percent, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was also lower at 3.059 percent.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was near a session low of 2.406 percent, its lowest level since hitting 2.388 percent on Jan. 24. Similarly, the 2-year bond was near its lowest yield of 1.151 percent on Jan. 24. The 2-year Treasury note was down around 1.157 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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The Treasury auctions $62 billion in three-year and 10-year notes, as well as 30-year bonds, and there are just a few Federal Reserve speeches scheduled throughout the trading week. There are no major economic data releases scheduled on Monday.

Debt prices rose Friday despite a much better-than-expected employment report. Nonfarm payrolls grew by 227,000 in January while the unemployment rate edged higher to 4.8 percent. However, average hourly earnings were up just 3 cents and 2.5 percent on an annualized basis.

Overseas, Investor uncertainty about France's presidential election took its toll on French bonds on Monday, pushing up the premium investors demand for holding French over German government bonds to its highest in almost four years.

The move came after far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen launched her presidential bid, vowing to fight globalisation and take France out of the euro zone.

French 10-year bond yields hit 17-month highs while nervous investors pushed yields on top-rated German bonds to their lowest level in almost two weeks and dumped riskier, lower-rated debt in southern Europe.

In oil markets, prices edged lower on Monday, with Brent crude futures falling 1.74 percent to $55.82 per barrel, while U.S. oil prices slipped 1.39 percent to trade at $53.08.

— CNBC's Patti Domm, Jeff Cox and Reuters contributed to this report