(New throughout, updates prices, market activity and comments) By Ross Kerber BOSTON, Dec 17 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury yields were steady on Tuesday as investors stayed cautious despite strong U.S. housing data. The benchmark 10-year yield was up less than a basis point to 1.8923% in trading on Tuesday afternoon, after falling as low as 1.8520% during in the session. Steve Johnson, senior portfolio manager at SVB Asset Management, said investors were awaiting certainty about major issues such as U.S.-China trade negotiations and the final shape of Britain's exit from the European Union. "What the market really wants to see is more of that macro clarity," Johnson said. Investors also could have been hesitant to take on more risk a day after the 10-year yield rose 6.8 basis points and stock indexes reached new highs. "It's the bond market taking a breather after a meaningful selloff in the last few days," said Subadra Rajappa, head of U.S rates strategy at Societe Generale. She noted the caution came even though a Commerce Department report showed U.S. homebuilding increased more than expected in November and permits for future home construction surged to a 12-1/2-year high as lower mortgage rates continued to boost the housing market and support the broader economy. The report also showed the stock of homes under construction last month was the highest since 2007, which could help to loosen a supply squeeze that has stalked the housing market. In addition the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a $1.4 trillion spending package to avert a partial government shutdown. Offsetting the positive economic news was a report by Boeing Co that it would pause production in January of its best-selling 737 MAX jet, which faces a safety review. The two-year yield, which typically moves in step with interest rate expectations, was down 1.2 basis points to 1.6326% on Tuesday afternoon. December 17 Tuesday 2:33PM New York / 1933 GMT Price Current Net Yield % Change (bps) Three-month bills 1.54 1.5719 0.006 Six-month bills 1.5525 1.5909 0.013 Two-year note 99-191/256 1.6326 -0.012 Three-year note 99-230/256 1.6599 -0.008 Five-year note 98-254/256 1.7131 -0.007 Seven-year note 98-180/256 1.8245 -0.005 10-year note 98-184/256 1.8923 0.003 30-year bond 101-44/256 2.3204 0.012 DOLLAR SWAP SPREADS Last (bps) Net Change (bps) U.S. 2-year dollar swap 5.50 1.25 spread U.S. 3-year dollar swap 1.50 1.00 spread U.S. 5-year dollar swap -1.00 0.75 spread U.S. 10-year dollar swap -5.25 0.50 spread U.S. 30-year dollar swap -30.00 -0.25 spread (Editing by David Gregorio)
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