LONDON Jan 24 U.S. government bond prices rose on Thursday, as investors sought safe havens due to concerns about potential automatic spending cuts in the world's top economy and weak French data.
* A Republican plan to extend the U.S. Treasury's borrowing authority will allow it to borrow money through mid-May, temporarily easing default concerns, which have recently caused a sell-off in U.S. T-bills but supported longer-term notes.
* But after the plan's approval on Wednesday in the House of Representatives, speaker John Boehner said Republicans would take the next opportunity - automatic spending cuts set for March 1 - to demand reforms from President Barack Obama.
* "Tensions are ongoing and this may be one of the factors playing in today," said Alan McQuaid, chief economist at Merrion Stockbrokers. "But I think they'll kick the can down the road in the end and eventually come to a solution."
* U.S. 10-year T-note yields were 1.4 basis points lower to 1.8136 percent. T-note futures were last 11/64 higher at 132-15/32.
* U.S. yields fell in tandem with those of triple-A rated German Bunds early in the European session, after data showed French business activity shrank in January to the lowest level since March 2009.
* McQuaid said North Korean plans to carry out further rocket launches and a nuclear test that would target the United States was also giving a bid to safe-havens.