US Treasury yields decline amid trade war risk to economy, Fed minutes

U.S. government debt yields held lower Wednesday amid trade war angst and after the Federal Reserve's meeting minutes showed members willing to postpone rate decisions "for some time."

At around 2:11 p.m. ET, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to price, was lower at around 2.391%, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was also lower at around 2.815%.

Rates held steady after the Federal Reserve's latest meeting minutes revealed officials committed to "patient" monetary policy in the near term. Minutes from the May 1-2 Federal Open Market Committee meeting also showed that Fed members raised their expectations for full-year economic growth and said earlier concerns about a slowdown had faded.

"Members observed that a patient approach to determining future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate would likely remain appropriate for some time, especially in an environment of moderate economic growth and muted inflation pressures, even if global economic and financial conditions continued to improve," the meeting summary stated.


The minutes release followed comments from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, who on Monday said that rising levels of corporate debt did not pose an immediate threat to the financial system. The issue of corporate debt has surfaced as companies continue to use the low rates the Fed has provided to lever up their balance sheets.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, a voting member of the central bank's policymaking committee, told Bloomberg News Tuesday that the Fed may have raised rates too much last year.

"Rates are at a good place in the U.S. right now, if anything we are a little restrictive I would say," he said. "I am concerned we may have slightly overdone it with our December rate hike but I was pleased that the committee pivoted."

— CNBC's Sam Meredith contributed to this report.