US debt yields rise after US delays China tariffs, ECB cuts rates

U.S. government debt yields rose Thursday after President Donald Trump agreed to delay tariffs on Chinese imports, another sign that the relationship between the two nations is thawing for now.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to price, rose about 5 basis points to 1.798%, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond climbed to 2.277%.

Though deliberations between the world's two largest economies have been volatile in recent months, Trump on Wednesday announced that he would delay a forthcoming tariff hike on China in a "gesture of good will."

trump tweet

"The president delayed it because of a request from the vice premier," Mnuchin said, referring to China's top trade negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He. "The optics of us raising the tariffs on October 1st, which is their 70th anniversary, caused them grave concern on the symbolism."

Earlier Wednesday, , including food for livestock, cancer drugs and lubricants.

Yields also moved after the European Central Bank introduced a major monetary stimulus package, reintroducing quantitative easing and cutting its key deposit rate.

The ECB said it would embark on a massive bond-buying program in an effort to juice the European economy, which of late has struggled to grow amid negative interest rates and sluggish production.

President Mario Draghi announced the ECB would cut its main deposit rate by 10 basis points to -0.5%, as widely expected by Wall Street economists. The central bank's quantitative easing program, however, will entail 20 billion euros per month of asset purchases for as long as necessary.

The ECB now expects interest rates to remain at their present or lower levels until it has seen inflation outlook "robustly converge to a level sufficiently close to but below 2% within its projection horizon, and such convergence has been persistent."

The Labor Department said Thursday that consumer prices inched higher in August as a sharp drop in the price of gasoline and other energy products kept inflation tame.

The department said the tiny, 0.1% increase in its consumer price index followed a much larger 0.3% in July. Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy components, rose 0.3% last month and 2.4% over the last 12 months.

"Along with the indexes for medical care and shelter, the indexes for recreation, used cars and trucks, and airline fares were among the indexes that increased in August," the Labor Department said in a release. "The indexes for new vehicles and household furnishings and operations declined over the month."

More robust price increases on consumer goods could signal to the Federal Reserve that inflation pressure is finally starting to build in the U.S. economy.

The Fed, which seeks to both maximize employment and keep prices stable, cut interest rates for the first time since 2008 at their latest meeting in July. The central bank is widely expected to reduce the overnight lending rate again at their September meeting next week amid fears of global economic slowdown.

— CNBC's Elliot Smith contributed reporting.