US Treasury yields slip as trade tensions linger


U.S. government debt yields fell Tuesday as investors looked for safety amid lingering trade tensions.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was lower at around 2.913 percent at 3:18 p.m. ET, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was also in the red at 3.07 percent. Bond yields move inversely to prices.


Trade turmoil between the U.S. and other nations continues to keep markets jittery. Last week, the U.S. administration implemented metal tariffs on Canada, Europe and Mexico — a move met with criticism and retaliation from the nations involved.

The White House stated Monday that it does continue to seek strong ties with those countries, despite the tariffs. Investors also kept an eye on the G7 summit in Canada this week, where trade is expected to be of key importance.

"While the narrative has been highly variable, the scope of tariffs remains limited so far," said Jason Pride, chief investment officer of private clients at Glenmede, in a note. "The total value of exports and imports of goods in the U.S. last year was about $4 trillion. Only about 4% of goods traded face increased tariffs by the U.S. and its partners as a result of trade actions this year, suggesting the scope of tariffs so far remains limited."

Elsewhere, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said President Donald Trump is considering having separate talks with Canada and Mexico as NAFTA negotiations continue.

"His preference now, and he asked me to convey this, is to actually negotiate with Mexico and Canada separately," Kudlow said. "He may be moving quickly towards these bilateral discussions instead of as a whole."

Investors also looked at developments between U.S.-China trade negotiations. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier on Tuesday — citing sources — that China would agree to buy nearly $70 billion worth of U.S. agriculture and energy products if the U.S. holds off on implementing tariffs against Chinese goods.

In economic news, the ISM non-manufacturing index reached 58.6 in May, above an expected print of 57.6. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the service sector while a reading below 50 signals contraction.

—CNBC's Fred Imbert contributed to this report.