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U.S. government debt yields were lower to unchanged on Wednesday, as market participants awaited speeches from two prominent Federal Reserve policymakers.
The Federal Reserve's Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak in Washington D.C. on Wednesday evening. The U.S. central bank chairman is expected to deliver opening remarks and answer questions on monetary policy at a town hall meeting with teachers.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve's vice chairman for supervision is also expected to speak shortly after the closing bell. Randal Quarles, who oversees the nation's banking industry, is poised to deliver remarks on stress testing at a reception in New York.
The U.S trade deficit with its global peers slipped in November for the first time after five straight months of increases as the shortfall with China and several other countries declined.
A release issued Wednesday from the government showed the gap had closed in November, the most recent month for which data was available, to $49.3 billion from $55.7 billion in October, representing an 11.5 percent decline.
The Treasury Department auctioned $27 billion in 10-year notes at a high yield of 2.689 percent. The bid-to-cover ratio, an indicator of demand, was 2.35. Indirect bidders, which include major central banks, were awarded 59.5 percent. Direct bidders, which includes domestic money managers, bought 12.2 percent.