* Consumer sentiment fell to lowest since November
* Safe-haven bids boost bonds ahead of Crimea vote
By Sam Forgione
NEW YORK, March 14 U.S. Treasuries prices edged
higher on Friday after data showed consumer sentiment dipped
modestly in early March while geopolitical tensions surrounding
Ukraine supported safe-haven bids.
The preliminary Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan
overall index of consumer sentiment fell to 79.9 in March, down
from the 81.6 final reading in February and marking the lowest
level for the index since November.
Heightened tensions between the West and Russia ahead of
Ukraine's weekend referendum in Crimea also drove a flight to
quality into safe-haven bonds.
The West has ramped up talks of sanctions while Russia has
responded with promises of retaliatory measures.
"We're in a bit of a holding pattern ahead of the event risk
this weekend," said Ian Lyngen, senior government bond
strategist at CRT Capital in Stamford, Connecticut.
Treasuries prices gained slightly despite Federal Reserve
data on Thursday showing foreign central banks' overall holdings
of U.S. marketable securities at the Fed plunged by more than
$106 billion in the week ended March 12.
The 10-year U.S. Treasury note was last up 5/32 to yield
2.63 percent, up in price from late Thursday, when the yield was
at 2.653 percent. Bond yields move inversely to their prices.
The 30-year Treasury bond was last up 16/32 in price to
yield 3.572 percent, up in price from late Thursday, when the
yield was at 3.60 percent.