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Treasurys hold higher after 7-year sale; Fed speakers in focus

U.S. government debt prices were higher on Thursday, as investors focused on remarks from leading Federal Reserve members.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note sat lower at around 2.255 percent at 2:36 p.m. ET, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was also down at 2.925 percent. Bond yields move inversely to prices.

Symbol
Yield
 
Change
%Change
US 3-MO
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US 1-YR
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US 2-YR
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US 5-YR
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US 10-YR
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US 30-YR
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St. Louis Fed President James Bullard is due to speak Thursday (U.S. time). Fed Governor Lael Brainard said in a speech earlier that the global economy is posing less risk to the central bank's U.S. outlook.

This comes after the U.S. central bank released minutes from its May meeting Wednesday, which showed that Fed officials seemed to be in sync with how they hope to reduce their $4.5 trillion balance sheet.

Fed watchers have showed concern that if the process of unwinding the balance sheet isn't done correctly, this could not only be disruptive but also drive rates up unexpectedly. Analysts are currently pricing in the next rate hike to take place at the Fed's next meeting in June.

Sticking with the U.S., investors will also be keeping a watchful eye on Donald Trump's first trip abroad as President, as the U.S. leader continues his visit through Europe on Thursday, meeting EU and NATO leaders in Brussels. During this visit, Trump is expected to discuss topics such as defense and environmental issues.

On Thursday, oil-producing nations reportedly agree to extend production cuts for nine months.

This comes as the group seeks to curb a global supply overhang which has depressed prices and revenues over the past three years.

The proposed cuts are expected to be shared again by non-OPEC producers later on Thursday. Led by Russia, non-OPEC producers had initially curbed output in conjunction with OPEC in a landmark deal for the first half of the year from January.

Investors also digested new supply into the bonds market.

The Treasury Department auctioned $28 billion in seven-year notes at a high yield of 2.06 percent, the lowest since October. The bid-to-cover ratio, an indicator of demand, was 2.54.

Indirect bidders, which include major central banks, were awarded 61.2 percent, the highest since August 2014. Direct bidders, which includes domestic money managers, bought 17.2 percent.

The seven-year yield traded near 2.05 percent following the sale.

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In data news, jobless claims hit 234,000 last week, rising slightly from the previous week, but remained near their lowest levels in more than 40 years.

CNBC's Jeff Cox and Sam Meredith contributed to this report.

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