* Minutes from Fed's September meeting in focus
* Treasury to sell three-year, 10-year supply
NEW YORK, Oct 11 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury prices were slightly higher on Wednesday ahead of the scheduled release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's September policy meeting and the Treasury Department's auctions of three-year and 10-year notes. The U.S. central bank's policy statement last month was seen as hawkish, boosting expectations it would raise interest rates in December. That view gained further credence in the wake of strong U.S. economic data and Fed officials' comments. "Speakers have been out in force recently and I think they've been pretty clear that a December rate hike is certainly on the table," said Thomas Simons, a money market economist at Jefferies in New York. Investors will be watching to see if the minutes show Fed officials expressing concerns about low inflation, though any comments may appear dated as inflation expectations have also risen since their meeting. "There is a little bit more optimism on the inflation outlook now than there was three weeks ago, so if there is trepidation in the minutes its kind of questionable exactly how much value that has," Simons said.
Benchmark 10-year notes were last up 2/32 in
price to yield 2.339 percent, down from 2.345 percent on Tuesday. The 10-year yields jumped to 2.402 percent on Friday, the highest level since May 11, after the governments employment report for September showed a rise in wages that boosted expectations inflation is increasing. Producer price data on Thursday and consumer price data on Friday will both be scrutinized for confirmation of higher prices, though many analysts have said that Friday's data was likely to be influenced by recent hurricanes. The Treasury will sell $56 billion in new coupon-bearing supply this week, including $24 billion in three-year notes and $20 billion in 10-year notes on Wednesday, and $12 billion in 30-year bonds on Thursday.
(Editing by Paul Simao)