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Treasury Yields Trim Early Losses, 10-Year Holds Near 1.95%

Source: NYSE

U.S. Treasury yields were little changed on Wednesday afternoon after a bond rally earlier in the session lost steam.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note shed less than a basis points to 1.947%. The benchmark yield hit 1.909% at its lows of the session. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was flat basis points lower to 2.251%. Yields move inversely to prices and 1 basis point is equal to 0.01%.

The 10-year rate hit 1.97% on Tuesday in the run-up to the release of the January consumer price index on Thursday. A higher inflation reading would add to expectations that the Federal Reserve will move on tightening monetary policy.

Economists are expecting the CPI to the show that prices rose 0.4% in January, for a 7.2% increase on the previous year, which would be the highest in almost 40 years.

In addition, a stronger-than-expected January jobs report on Friday has fueled speculation that the Fed could be more aggressive in raising rates.

Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic told CNBC on Wednesday that he sees three rate hikes as possible this year, but that the central bank will see how the economy responds instead of committing to a set path of hikes.

Additionally, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said the central bank would be prepared to hike rates at any meeting this year and that the Fed would consider selling mortgage backed securities to reduce its balance sheet more quickly.

Bank of America said at the beginning of the week that it could see the Fed raising rates seven times, by a quarter of a percentage point, in 2022.

Goldman Sachs researchers led by Praveen Korapaty said in a note to clients on Wednesday that the 10-year yield should end the year near 2.25%.

"Most of the bond selloff should, in our view, come from an increase in real yields. We expect 2y real yields to rise by another 100bp by the end of the year, and 10y real yields to rise by another 30-35bp, both in addition to already substantial increases seen this year," the Goldman note said. "The increases, particularly at the front end, reflect both the pull forward of liftoff and front loading of rate hikes, as well as an expectation that inflation will soften from current elevated levels over time."

Auctions were held on Wednesday for $40 billion of 119-day bills and $37 billion of 10-year notes.

-CNBC's Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

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