Treasury yields slip amid heightened fears of an economic slowdown

U.S. government debt prices rose on Wednesday as weaker-than-expected data from China, Europe and the U.S. fueled concerns of an economic slowdown over the coming months.


The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, was lower at 2.677 percent, near its lowest levels since late January 2017. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was also lower at 3.02 percent. Bond yields move inversely to prices.

It comes after a private sector survey showed manufacturing activity in China, the world's second-largest economy,  contracted for the first time in 19 months. China's Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for December dipped to 49.7 from 50.2 in November.

Meanwhile, the euro zone manufacturing PMI remained at its lowest level since February 2016, according to IHS Markit. The data also showed confidence about the future hit a fresh six-year low. In the U.S., the IHS Markit manufacturing PMI slipped to a 15-month low in December.

The data prompted investors to load up on Treasurys, which are considered to be a safer investment than equities because they are typically not as volatile. 

Wednesday's rise in Treasury prices also comes amid a choppy session in the U.S. stock market. The Dow Jones industrial Average fell as much as 398 points before rebounding, while the Nasdaq Composite erased a loss of more than 1 percent. 

—CNBC's Fred Imbert contributed to this report.