October 10, 2019 / 7:36 PM / in 8 days

TREASURIES-Yields rise as U.S., China resume trade negotiations

(Recasts; updates yields; adds analyst quotes)

By Kate Duguid

NEW YORK, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Treasury yields rose Thursday on optimism for a resolution to the U.S.-China trade war as the two countries began a new round of negotiations in Washington, alleviating some worries over slowing economic growth.

Top U.S. and Chinese officials met on Thursday for the first time since late July to try to find a way out of a 15-month trade war as new irritants between the world’s two largest economies threatened hopes for progress.

The mood surrounding the talks soured this week when the U.S. government blacklisted 28 Chinese public security bureaus, technology and surveillance firms and imposed visa restrictions on Chinese officials over allegations of abuses of Muslim minorities in China.

“Risk sentiment is flying around wildly in the midst of China-U.S. trade negotiations. And that’s exerting a big force on the interest-rates market,” said Guy LeBas, chief fixed income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott.

LeBas and other analysts, however, noted the difficulty of using the rapidly shifting headlines to direct investment strategy.

“A choppy overnight session driven by conflicting signals regarding trade negotiations highlights the difficulty in chasing every 5 basis point move in yields, in that the proximate justification can unwind just as quickly,” said Ian Lyngen, head of U.S. rates strategy at BMO Capital Markets.

The benchmark 10-year yield was up 7.6 basis points to 1.663%, with the two-year yield, a proxy for investor expectations of interest-rate moves, up 6 basis points to 1.534%.

Also on Thursday, U.S. consumer prices were reported unchanged in September and underlying inflation retreated. But a separate report showing continued strength in the U.S. labor market stopped the tepid inflation reading from raising expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates in October for a third time this year.

“Although inflation continues to be a factor in the Fed’s reasoning behind recent rate cuts, we don’t see this month’s CPI reading changing the calculus for the Fed in the near-term,” wrote analysts at TD Securities.

The Treasury Department on Thursday afternoon reopened $16 billion of 30-year bonds at auction to decent demand, the end of a week of heavy supply totaling $78 billion in notes and bonds. Direct bidders, a group that includes bond dealers and large investment managers, took 18.5% of the offering, about 4 points above average.

The 30-year yield was last up 6.9 basis points to 2.155% . (Reporting by Kate Duguid; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)

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