Treasury yields move lower after weak US and China economic data

U.S. government debt prices rose on Wednesday as investors looked for safety after the release of disappointing data from the U.S. and China.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was lower at around 2.382%, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was also lower at around 2.828%. Yields move inversely to prices. The 10-year yield was also about five basis points from hitting its 2019 low.


Retails sales in the U.S. fell 0.2% last month, while economists polled by Dow Jones expected an increase of 0.2%. Meanwhile, industrial production in the U.S. fell 0.5% in April after rising 0.2% in March.

Chinese industrial production rose 5.4% in April, well below a Refinitiv estimate of 6.5%. The print was also the weakest since May 2003.

"I think the weak Chinese data is kind of confirmation the trade war matters, which is more fuel on the fire of the worries we've seen over the past two weeks," said BMO Treasury strategist Ben Jeffrey.

The weak economic data comes as trade tensions between China and the U.S. have reignited. Earlier this week, China hiked tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods. The move came after the U.S. raised levies on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

President Donald Trump said in a tweet Tuesday that the U.S. is in a "much better position now than any deal we could have made."

—CNBC's Fred Imbert and Patti Domm contributed to this report.