US Treasury yields inch higher as trade war talks continue

U.S. government debt yields rose slightly Monday amid renewed trade talks between the U.S. and China as well as robust jobs data and comments from Federal Reserve last week.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to price, was higher at around 2.68 percent, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was up at 2.983 percent.

Trade talks between Chinese officials and their U.S. counterparts resumed early this week. According to Reuters, the Chinese foreign ministry said Monday that China and the U.S. have expressed an eagerness to work together. The ministry also added China stands ready to resolve trade disputes with the U.S. on equal footing.

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President Donald Trump said Sunday that the talks were going well and weakness in the Chinese economy gave Beijing an extra incentive to work toward a resolution.

It comes after U.S. payrolls data published Friday showed 312,000 jobs were created in December. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting job growth of just 176,000.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell also sought to ease market concerns of slowing growth in the world's largest economy, saying the U.S. central bank would be "patient" and flexible with policy decisions this year. Powell said Friday that the central bank "wouldn't hesitate" to adjust how quickly it lets its balance sheet shrink if it starts to cause problems in financial markets.

"We don't believe that our issuance is an important part of the story of the market turbulence that began in the fourth quarter of last year. But, I'll say again, if we reached a different conclusion, we wouldn't hesitate to make a change," he said. "If we came to the view that the balance sheet normalization plan — or any other aspect of normalization — was part of the problem, we wouldn't hesitate to make a change."

He also said that the Fed "will be patient" with monetary policy as it watches how the U.S. economy performs.

On the data front, ISM non-manufacturing figures for December are expected to be released at around 10:00 a.m. ET.