Yields hold steady after report indicating no inflation in November

U.S. government debt yields held steady on Wednesday after a government report showed no change to consumer prices across the month of November.

The Labor Department's Consumer Price Index was unchanged last month on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.3 percent in October. Over the last 12 months, the headline index increased 2.2 percent before seasonal adjustment; that's down from the October year-over-year print of 2.5 percent.

Core CPI, which does not include volatile energy or food prices, increased 0.2 percent in November and is up 2.2 percent in the past 12 months.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note traded higher at 2.89 percent, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond edged higher to 3.13 percent. The yield on the benchmark 2-year Treasury note was unchanged at 2.774 percent. Bond yields rise when prices fall.

Short-term yields, impacted by changes in Fed policy, have been anchored in place in recent months as Chair Jerome Powell led his colleagues in three increases to the overnight lending rate. In contrast, inflation and economic expectations dictate the movement of long-term rates; investors estimate how much they should be compensated beyond inflation for holding government debt over several years.

The difference between the 5-year Treasury inflation-protected securities, or TIPS, and the corresponding Treasurys continues to hit new multimonth lows. That spread is a practical look at the market's projection of where inflation is heading, and is down from highs over 2 percent in October. The closely followed spread between the 2-year Treasury note yield and the 10-year Treasury note yield remains positive.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump on Wednesday said his administration was having "very productive" trade talks with China, adding: "watch for some important announcements."

The president also said in a Reuters interview that he would intervene in the Department of Justice's case against Meng Wanzhou, the finance chief of Chinese tech giant Huawei, if it meant helping secure a trade deal with Beijing.

Another area of focus for traders is the latest news around Brexit. U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May will face a vote of no-confidence Wednesday after the threshold of 48 lawmakers needed to trigger it was reached. May said at a press briefing that she would "contest that vote with everything I've got." The British pound and U.K. government bond yields rose on the back of the news.

President Donald Trump (L) shakes hand with China's President Xi Jinping at the end of a press conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 9, 2017.
Fred Dufour | AFP | Getty Images
President Donald Trump (L) shakes hand with China's President Xi Jinping at the end of a press conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 9, 2017.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is approaching its anticipated two-day meeting next week. The U.S. central bank is expected to raise interest rates at the Dec. 18-19 meeting, but expectations for further hikes next year have tempered off late amid fears of slowing economic growth.

Trump again weighed in on the institution's rate hiking path on Tuesday, saying it would be "foolish" for the Fed to hike rates. He said he disagreed with Fed Chair Jerome Powell's "aggressive" policy stance, but that he considered him to be a "good man."

In other political news, Trump engaged in a heated spat with Democratic congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer on Tuesday. The president threatened to shut down the government if his administration did not "get what we want," highlighting a deepening dispute over his proposed btom order wall separating the U.S. and Mexico.

— CNBC's Ryan Browne contributed reporting.