US Treasury yields rise as investors turn attention to Fed news, data

U.S. government debt yields rose Wednesday after the release of key economic data, including the Federal Reserve's Beige Book.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note sat up at around 2.341 percent at 2:09 p.m. ET, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was higher at 2.851 percent. Bond yields move inversely to prices.

Earlier, The 2-year Treasury note hit a new high of 1.571 percent, its highest level since Nov. 3, 2008 when the 2-year yield hit a high of 1.6 percent.

The yield curve, a set of interest rates watched closely by bond market pros, has gotten to its flattest level since before the financial crisis.


The Federal Reserve said in its latest edition the Beige Book that the U.S. economy expanded at a modest to moderate pace in September despite the impact of hurricanes on some regions, according to Reuters.

"Despite widespread labor tightness, the majority of districts reported only modest to moderate wage pressures," the U.S. central bank said.

Wall Street has been scrutinizing updates from Fed for any indication of the central bank's thinking on inflation. While a December rate hike looks increasingly likely, many are concerned that the bank may be moving too quickly for the economy to endure a third hike this year.

Total mortgage application volume rose 3.6 percent for the week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, whose seasonally adjusted results included an accommodation for the Columbus Day holiday. Volume was nearly 19 percent below the same week a year ago, when interest rates were lower.

Meanwhile, U.S. homebuilding fell to a one-year low in September as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma disrupted construction, reported Reuters. Housing starts decreased 4.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.127 million units, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday. That was the lowest level since September 2016.

The slippage in the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield may reflect investors' expectations of slower long-term domestic economic growth, Dallas Federal Reserve President Robert Kaplan said on Wednesday, reported Reuters.

"That may be a sign of worry about future growth," Kaplan told reporters after participating on a panel with New York Fed.

On Tuesday, CNBC learned that U.S. President Donald Trump would likely announce his pick for who would take up the position of Fed Chair at the start of next month.

At present, reports suggest that there are currently five candidates in the running for the role, including current Chair Janet Yellen, whose term expires early 2018.

Elsewhere, oil prices posted gains in morning trade, boosted by news that U.S. crude inventories had recently declined.

CNBC's Gina Francolla contributed to this report.