Bond prices mostly higher as threat of Syrian escalation recedes



U.S. government debt prices were mostly higher on Monday as comments over the weekend from U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson appeared to retreat from expectations of a campaign to remove Syrian president Bashar Assad.

The U.S. launched a missile strike against a Syrian airfield late Thursday in response to an alleged chemical attack which killed several Syrian civilians.

Investors will be keenly watching events in Italy on Monday, where G7 foreign ministers will begin a two-day meeting and it is hoped that Tillerson may provide more clarity on Syria and an array of international issues.

The Treasury Department auctioned $24 billion in 3-year notes at a high yield of 1.525 percent. The bid-to-cover ratio, an indicator of demand, was 2.62. The ratio for the 3-year note auction is the lowest since July 2009.

Indirect bidders, which include major central banks, were awarded 51.8 percent. Direct bidders, which includes domestic money managers, bought 8.3 percent.

The yield on the 3-year note was at 1.499 percent following the sale.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury notes, which moves inversely to price, was mostly flat at around 2.362 percent, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was also little changed at 2.988 percent.

In oil markets, Brent crude traded at around $55.91 a barrel on Monday, up 1.23 percent, while U.S. crude was around $53.03 a barrel, up 1.51 percent.