(Corrects year of GDP data in second graph)
* Strong data sends yields higher
* Geopolitical, debt ceiling concerns in focus
By Karen Brettell
NEW YORK, Aug 30 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury yields rose on Wednesday after data indicated solid economic momentum, keeping the prospect of a December interest rate increase alive.
Gross domestic product increased at a 3.0 percent annual rate in the April-June period, the strongest since the first quarter of 2015.
Also, U.S. private employers added 237,000 jobs in August, the biggest monthly increase in five months, beating economists’ expectations.
“The second quarter GDP revisions were strong, and when coupled with the first quarter revisions, the overall level seems relatively impressive for the first half of the year,” said Ian Lyngen, head of U.S. rates strategy at BMO Capital Markets in New York.
Benchmark 10-year notes were last down 4/32 in price to yield 2.15 percent, up from 2.14 percent on Monday.
Personal income figures on Thursday and Friday’s employment report for August are the next major U.S. economic releases.
Concerns about rising tensions with North Korea, and risks surrounding the U.S. government’s need to raise the debt ceiling next month, however, remained forefront in investors’ minds.
“There is a lot of geopolitical risk out there. I struggle to think that anyone is going to want to go home short the Treasury market into the holiday weekend,” said Lyngen.
The United Nations condemned North Korea’s “outrageous” firing of a ballistic missile over Japan, demanding that the isolated country halt its weapons program but holding back on any threat of new sanctions.
Ten-year Treasury yields dropped as low as 2.086 percent on Tuesday, the lowest since Nov. 10, on safety buying after reports of the missile firing.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter on Wednesday that “talking is not the answer,” in regards to relations with North Korea.
Demand for bonds to balance portfolios for month-end extension may also boost prices in the coming days.
Trump will address tax reform on Wednesday in a speech expected to tout tax cuts as a way to help workers and the middle class in an economy “rigged” against them.
Expectations that Trump will overhaul taxes, potentially boosting growth, have faltered in recent months as lawmakers have been unable to pass healthcare and other legislation.
Investors are also evaluating whether Tropical Storm Harvey is likely to have a lasting impact on the U.S. economy after bringing catastrophic flooding to Texas. (Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe) )