US Treasurys rise amid French election worries

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U.S. government debt prices were higher on Friday as investors fretted over France's presidential election ahead of the Presidents' Day long weekend.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was lower at around 2.425 percent, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was also lower at 3.029 percent. Yields move inversely to prices.

Socialist Benoit Hamon and hard-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon held talks Friday about possibly joining forces to beat far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. Opinion polls put combined support for the two men at levels which, if combined, could potentially be enough to reach the May 7 runoff election between the two top-scoring candidates.

French bond yields ticked higher on the news, pushing the spread between 10-year French sovereigns and German bunds above 70 basis points.


There has been a noticeable divide this week, with safe-haven Bunds and other core countries like France and Austria have seen yields rise, while Spain and Italy have seen theirs fall for the first week in five, helped by some soothing noises from the European Central Bank.

The ECB's minutes on Thursday indicated little appetite for curbing stimulus, setting the scene for a divergence in central bank policy between the U.S. and Europe.

In oil markets, Brent crude traded at around $55.74 a barrel on Friday, up 0.09 percent, while U.S. crude was around $53.37 a barrel, up 0.02 percent.

On the data front, the only data set due Friday is leading indicators at 10 a.m. ET.

—Reuters contributed to this report.