March 3 (Reuters) - Benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yields hit their highest level in more than two weeks on Friday, but were flat in early North American trading as investors squared positions ahead of U.S. economic data and a slate of speakers from the Federal Reserve.
Five members of the U.S. central bank are set to give public remarks during the day, including Fed Chair Janet Yellen who will speak at the Executives’ Club of Chicago at 1 p.m. (1800 GMT). Investors will be looking for signals that the Fed plans to raise U.S. overnight interest rates at its upcoming March 14-15 meeting.
Fed funds futures prices show traders see a 77 percent chance of a rate rise this month, according to CME Group’s Fed Watch tool.
New York Fed President William Dudley and San Francisco Fed President John Williams both suggested in comments earlier this week that the Fed is poised to raise rates sooner than later, but Yellen is seen as the Fed’s most important voice.
Benchmark 10-year notes were last little changed in price to yield 2.489 percent. Yields touched 2.507 percent during European trading, the highest since Feb. 15. Yields on 7-year notes rose to 2.347 percent, also the highest since Feb. 15.
Yields on other maturities were largely constrained, with the 2-year note opening lower and trading sideways after touching its highest level since August 2009 on Thursday. (Reporting by Dion Rabouin; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)