US Treasurys lower after 30-year sale; yield on 10-year note above 2.6%

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U.S. government debt prices were lower on Thursday as the U.S. market awaits Friday's jobs report and the European Central Bank kept monetary policy steady.

The U.S Treasury Department also auctioned $12 billion in 30-year bonds at a high yield of 3.17 percent. The bid-to-cover ratio, an indicator of demand, was 2.34.

Indirect bidders, which include major central banks, were awarded 61.1 percent. Direct bidders, which includes domestic money managers, bought 13.1 percent. The share of direct bidders purchase is the largest since October 2015.

The yield on the 30-year bond was at 3.182 percent after the trade, and held close to session highs after the sale, according to Reuters.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was higher at around 2.596 percent. Yields move inversely to prices.

The European Central Bank left rates unchanged and said it would increase its quantitative easing program should the region's economic outlook worsen.

President Mario Draghi said in a news conference that while some sentiment indicators suggest the region's recovery may be gaining steam, "measures of underlying inflation remain low."

"If the outlook becomes less favorable, ... we stand ready to increase our asset purchase program in terms of size and/or duration," Draghi said.

The bond yield spread between German and U.S. government debt hit 220 basis points, near an 8-year high, ahead of the ECB's announcement.

Meantime, monetary policy in the United States is headed in the opposite direction. The Federal Reserve is expected to hike rates at its next meeting. The last indicator that can deter or strengthen the central bank's decision for a possible interest rate hike is Friday's monthly job report.


On the data front, initial jobless claims bounced back from 44-year lows, with import prices rising 0.2 percent.

In oil markets, Brent crude traded at around $52.50 a barrel on Thursday, down 1.34 percent, while U.S. crude was around $49.51 a barrel, down 1.53 percent.

-CNBC's Luqman Adeniyi contributed to this report