Treasurys rise on weaker economic, Europe news

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Treasury prices rose Wednesday after a weak economic report from the Federal Reserve and reports of an impasse in talks among European leaders over how to resolve that region’s debt crisis.

The Fed’s survey of regional economies found that businesses are spending less in some areas because of uncertainty about the economy. Financial activity is slowing, the Fed said.

Afternoon news reports said that French and German leaders remain at odds over a solution to the European debt crisis. They disagree about the size of losses banks should take on Greek debt they own. The Greek government appears likely to default. French and German banks lent it billions.

The downbeat reports tipped investor interest toward safe, low-yielding investments such as Treasurys. Their prices recovered after sliding earlier in the day.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note rose 16 cents for every $100 invested, pushing its yield down to 2.16 percent from 2.19 percent late Tuesday.

Bond yields fall as demand for them increases. Lower yields signal that traders are willing to accept an even tinier return in exchange for holding an investment seen as safe.

Treasurys traded in a relatively narrow price range, compared to the volatile trading of recent days. The 10-year yield remained between 2.21 percent and 2.14 percent during daytime trading hours.

Traders are waiting for the outcome of a weekend meeting between European officials. Without a plan to shore up flailing banks and reduce borrowing costs for Italy and Spain, many fear that the crisis will spread.

The price of the 30-year Treasury bond rose 22 cents, pushing its yield down to 3.17 percent from 3.20 percent late Tuesday.

The yield on the two-year Treasury note was unchanged at 0.27 percent. The yield on the three-month Treasury bill was unchanged at 0.02 percent. Its discount wasn’t available.

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