TREASURIES-Prices fall on signs that Ukraine crisis is easing

Tue Mar 4, 2014 3:53pm EST

Related Topics

* 10-year yields see highest percentage change in 4 months

* Fed bought $1.23 bln in Treasuries

* Focus turning to Friday's U.S. jobs market report

By Marina Lopes

NEW YORK, March 4 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury debt prices extended losses on Tuesday as Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country would use military force in the Ukraine only as a last resort, prompting a reversal in Monday's flight to safe assets.

Putin also ordered troops involved in a military exercise close to the Ukrainian border back to their bases, apparently seeking to ease East-West tensions.

The news sent benchmark 10-year note yields to an intra-day high of 2.6923 percent, up from Monday's close of 2.608 percent, the biggest daily percentage point change in almost four months.

"This is definitely on relief that perhaps the Russian-Ukrainian crisis may be reaching some kind of resolution," said Wilmer Stith, co-manager of the Wilmington Broad Markets Bond Fund in Baltimore.

Ten-year notes were last down 22/32 in price, pulling yields up to 2.687 percent. Thirty-year bonds fell 1-14/32 in price, sending yields to 3.635 percent from Monday's close of 3.558 percent.

Investors are now awaiting the Labor Department's non farm payrolls report due on Friday for insights into the trajectory of the economy.

"It's a very cautious market environment that we are in right now as we ready for Friday's payroll number," Stith said. "We know that is going to be negatively influenced by weather. The question is to what extent and whether we get any revisions."

Ten-year yields could face support at the 40-day moving average at 2.77 percent, but traders noted that the crisis in Ukraine is fluid and could worsen again.

The Federal Reserve bought $1.23 billion in Treasuries maturing between 2038 and 2043, as part of its ongoing bond-buying program.

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