US Treasury yields hold lower after weak 10-year sale

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U.S. government debt prices rose on Wednesday, as investors focused on the 10-year note sale and oil inventory data.

The Treasury Department auctioned $23 billion of 10-year notes at a high yield of 2.333 percent.

Indirect bidders, which include major central banks, were awarded 65.1 percent. Direct bidders, which includes domestic money managers, bought 4.4 percent. The bid-to-cover, an indicator of demand, was 2.29, below a recent average of 2.50.

The indirect bid is slightly above a recent average of 64 percent and the direct bid fell below a recent average of 8 percent.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury notes, which moves inversely to price, was lower at around 2.355 percent, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was also lower at 2.964 percent.

"Bottom line, the recent backup in yields resulted in a soft auction. The recent fall in yields has also seen inflation expectations in TIPS back off its recent highs," said Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group. "I'll say this with the 10-year yield at 2.35 percent, they have a very different viewpoint of the economic environment and what's to come compared with the stock market."

The Treasury Department plans to auction $15 billion in 30-year bonds scheduled later in the week.


There are no major economic data releases scheduled on Wednesday.

In oil markets, Crude prices for March delivery fell 0.52 percent to $52.44 a barrel, with the Energy Information Administration reporting a 13.8 million barrels increase in oil inventories. The American Petroleum Institute said Tuesday that inventories rose by 14.2 million barrels the week of Feb. 3, sharply above the expected 2.5 million barrels increase.

— CNBC's Patti Domm and Luqman Adeniyi contributed to this report.