October 14, 2016 / 7:41 PM / a year ago

TREASURIES-30-year yields hit 4-month high after Yellen comments

* Fed’s Yellen comments push 30-year yields to 4-month high

* China inflation data sends yields higher

* U.S. retail sales, inflation data back 2016 rate increase (Updates to afternoon trading, recasts opening paragraphs, adds quote, Yellen remarks)

By Dion Rabouin

NEW YORK, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Longer-dated U.S. Treasury yields rose sharply on Friday with 30-year bond yields reaching a four-month high after the release of solid U.S. and Chinese economic data and comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who suggested the central bank may allow inflation to exceed its 2 percent target.

The Treasury yield curve steepened with 2-year yields touching a more than one-week low as investors continued to bet on a near-term Fed interest rate increase and a slower pace for future ones.

Yellen said at a conference of policymakers and top academics that the Fed may need to run a “high-pressure” economy to reverse damage from the Great Recession.

She also said reversing long-term damage might need a more accommodative policy than otherwise, which may suggest the U.S. central bank could provide further monetary policy easing.

The spread between 5- and 30-year Treasuries rose after the release of Yellen’s remarks to more than 127 basis points, the widest since Sept. 16.

“The big one is the comment about running the economy hot,” said David Keeble, global head of interest rates strategy at Credit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank. “Maybe she is preparing for a December rate hike, but she doesn’t want the market to run ahead of her ... She doesn’t mind more inflation that’s why the U.S. yield curve is steepening.”

Earlier on Friday, China reported higher than-expected inflation in September for consumers and producers alike, with producer prices rising for the first time since January 2012.

“China giveth and China taketh away,” said Lou Brien, market strategist at DRW Trading in Chicago. “This being the Halloween season, the markets are almost looking for something to spook them.”

Friday’s selloff also received a modest bump from the release of U.S. retail sales and inflation data, which largely matched the expectations of economists and suggested the economy could be growing strong enough to meet the Fed’s standard’s for a rate increase this year.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes were last down 15/32 in price to yield 1.791 percent.

The 30-year bond fell 1-17/32 in price to yield 2.552 percent, the highest since June 23. Yields on the 30-year bond were on track for the largest one-day gain in five weeks.

Yields on the 2-year Treasury note fell to 0.819 percent, the lowest since Oct. 5, after Yellen’s comments.

Reporting by Dion Rabouin; Editing by Chris Reese and Steve Orlofsky

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