* Dearth of U.S. economic data puts focus on geopolitics
* Tuesday's lower-than-expected U.S. CPI spurs continued
By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
NEW YORK, July 23 U.S. long-term Treasury debt
prices edged higher for a third straight session on Wednesday on
continued safe-haven demand as global tensions in the Middle
East and Ukraine persisted.
Buying in Treasuries also held steady following Tuesday's
benign U.S. consumer inflation number, which suggested the
Federal Reserve is not in a hurry to raise interest rates.
"We're marginally higher and this is due to a combination of
yesterday's lower-than-expected U.S. core CPI (consumer price
index) and geopolitical concerns," said Jeffrey Young, U.S.
rates strategist at Nomura in New York.
Tension increased in Ukraine as pro-Russian rebels shot down
two Ukrainian fighter jets.
In the Middle East, meanwhile, Israeli forces continued to
pound Gaza on Wednesday, meeting stiff resistance from Hamas
Islamists and sending thousands of residents fleeing.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, however, said on a visit
to Israel that ceasefire talks had made some progress.
In late morning trading, benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury
notes were up 4/32 in price to yield 2.451 percent,
while the 30-year Treasury bond was up 5/32 in price, pushing
the yield down to 3.244 percent. On Monday U.S.
30-year Treasury bond yields fell to their lowest since June
U.S. Treasuries rose on Tuesday in the wake of a tame U.S.
"The latest numbers will admit a pause in the gathering
strength of inflation, and will not deter the 'doves' from
claiming that inflation is transitory," said Thierry Albert
Wizman, interest rates and currencies strategist at Macquarie in
But he believes U.S. annualized core inflation is trending
higher, with averages of 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter of
2013, 1.8 percent in the first quarter this year, and 2.6
percent in the second quarter.
(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by James