US Treasurys fall after Yellen says the Fed shouldn't wait too long for a rate hike

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Scott Olson | Getty Images

U.S. government debt prices were lower on Tuesday as investors digested the release of data and comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen.

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Waiting too long to raise interest rates would be "unwise" as economic growth continues and inflation rises, Yellen told Congress on Tuesday.

"At our upcoming meetings, the Committee will evaluate whether employment and inflation are continuing to evolve in line with these expectations, in which case a further adjustment of the federal funds rate would likely be appropriate," Yellen said.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was higher at around 2.473 percent, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was also higher at 3.063 percent. Yields move inversely to prices.

U.S. 10-Year Yield Intraday chart

Source: FactSet

On the data front, the NFIB small business survey hit 105.9 last month, a slightly higher read from December, with January PPI rising 0.6 percent, above the expected 0.3 percent increase.

Overseas, higher-rated euro zone government bond yields edged lower early on Tuesday in the face of an uncertain political and monetary policy outlook.

German economic growth figures also helped to cap yields, tamping down the inflation outlook as they came in slightly below expectations at 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter.

Bond yields have been rising since September last year on signs of a strengthening global economic outlook, stronger inflation data and an expected reduction in monetary stimulus.

—CNBC's Jeff Cox and Reuters contributed to this report.