U.S. government debt prices ticked higher Wednesday following the release of weaker-than-expected housing data.
The Commerce Department said earlier in the day that new home sales dropped 5.5 percent last month and reached their lowest level in nearly two years. This comes as mortgage rates have risen recently. According to Bankrate.com, the most recent average rate is at 4.87 percent.
The bid in Treasurys comes amid a general risk-off move in global stock markets. The major U.S. stock indexes are all down sharply this month. European and Asian equities have also dropped sharply in October.
Treasury auctions continued on Wednesday, as the department sold $39 billion worth of five-year notes at a high yield of 2.977 percent. The bid-to-cover ratio, an indicator of demand, hit 2.3.
Elsewhere, the Federal Reserve said in its latest economic report that tariffs have forced U.S. factories to raise prices.
"Manufacturers reported raising prices of finished goods out of necessity," the central bank said in the latest edition of the Beige Book, a summary of economic conditions. The Fed added: "Prices continued to rise, growing at a modest-to-moderate pace in all districts."