U.S. government debt yields were little changed on Friday as investors wait for a key policy decision from the Federal Reserve next week.
At 3:41 p.m. ET, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to price, held around flatline at 2.08%, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was a tick lower at 2.58%.
The Fed is set to hold a two-day policy meeting next week. Investors will look for clues for an easing of monetary policy later this year. Traders are now pricing in a more than 80% chance of a rate cut in July and 70% probability of another reduction in September, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool.
Yields were under pressure this week as a host of new data added to investor concerns that the U.S. and global economies could be slowing in tandem. The Labor Department said on Thursday that more Americans filed for unemployment benefits than expected last week.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 222,000 for the week ended June 8, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Wednesday’s consumer price index data rose a seasonally adjusted 0.1% in May, while costs excluding volatile energy and food components also rose 0.1%.
Prices climbed 1.8% from the previous year while the so-called core gauge rose 2%, both falling short of economists’ expectations.
“We’d like to believe the fundamentals need to change in order to reprice to an even lower rates plateau; however, the bigger drivers have been trade and geopolitical in nature,” wrote Ian Lyngen, head of U.S. rate strategy at BMO Capital Markets. “An additional factor which will serve as a lid on yields we have been contemplating is the potential risk asset reaction to any ‘hawkish’ interpretation of next week’s meeting.”
China’s industrial output growth slowed to a more than 17-year low of 5% in May, well below expectations. The National Bureau of Statistics of China report represented the latest sign of weakening demand in the world’s second-largest economy.
But some of the data offered relief.
U.S. retail sales increased in May and sales for the prior month were revised higher, hinting at resilient consumer spending that could calm concerns about a slowdown in the American economy.
The Commerce Department said on Friday retail sales rose 0.5% last month, buoyed by strong automobile purchases. Data for April was revised up to show retail sales gaining 0.3%, instead of dropping 0.2% as previously reported.
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