US Treasury yields tick upward as Chinese trade fears ease

Key Points
  • China has announced brand-new tariffs on 106 U.S. products, including cars, whiskey and soybeans.
  • On the central banking front, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's two-day annual risk conference begins.

U.S. government debt yields rose modestly on Wednesday as fears over a growing trade war between the United States and China appears to ease in late afternoon trading.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was slightly higher at around 2.795 percent at 3:39 p.m. ET, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was also higher at 3.035 percent. Bond yields move inversely to prices.


The moves in the bond market come as China announces brand-new tariffs on 106 U.S. products, including cars, whiskey and soybeans. The move arrives less than a day after President Donald Trump issued a list of Chinese imports that the U.S. administration aims to target as part of a crackdown on what the president sees as unfair trade practices.

Markets have already been on edge of late amid concerns over the U.S. administration's proposed tariffs on the Asian nation and potential tighter regulation of the domestic technology sector.

But the reaction in the bond market was muted compared to the moves seen in stocks. The major averages opened sharply lower before recovering some of those losses.

"Everyone took this as new news but it was more of the same," said Anthony Conroy, president at Abel Noser. "Aside from the soybeans and cars, this is not new."

In economic news, the ADP National Employment Report showed private companies added 241,000 jobs in March, more than the expected gain of 205,000.

The services purchasing managers' index (PMI) slipped to 54.0 in March from 55.9 in February. Meanwhile the non-manufacturing ISM index came in at 58.8 for last month, missing expectations.

—CNBC's Sam Meredith and Fred Imbert contributed to this report.