US Treasury yields edge higher amid mixed messages on trade

U.S. government debt prices slipped on Tuesday as investors parsed through mixed messages on the trade front coming from the Trump administration.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was higher at around 2.884 percent at 2:15 p.m. ET, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond rose to 3.031 percent. Bond yields move inversely to prices.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a tweet Monday that a report from the Wall Street Journal about the Trump administration planning to curb Chinese investment in U.S. tech — which led to a steep sell-off in stocks — was “fake news.” Mnuchin added, however, that those restrictions will apply to “all countries that are trying to steal our technology.”

Bond traders at CME Group
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Later on Monday, Peter Navarro, a trade advisor to President Donald Trump, told CNBC said there were no plans on slapping investment restrictions on China or other countries. He also called the stock market was overreacting to such fears.

However, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders doubled down on Mnuchin’s statement, saying in a press briefing: “As the Secretary said, a statement would go out that targets all countries that are trying to steal our technology, and we expect that to be out soon.”

The comments and the report came after Trump warned of a 20 percent tariff on all car imports from the EU, stating that if the bloc refused to remove its duties on U.S. vehicles, then Washington would have no choice but to act.