NEW YORK: US Treasury yields slipped on Thursday after two days of gains in choppy trading, tracking the euro zone bond market, after the European Central Bank extended its stimulus program until at least September next year but at a diminished pace.
The ECB said it will cut its bond purchases in half to 30 billion euros a month from January, but hedged its bets by stretching asset buys by nine months given persistently low inflation.
"US yields are following global yields lower, fairly sharply as well," said Gennadiy Goldberg, interest rates strategist at TD Securities in New York.
"The risk of the ECB being a little more hawkish has led to the rise in yields for the last week or so. So this is a little bit of a spillover effect."
A report from Politico saying that current Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is out of the running for the top US central bank job briefly nudged rates higher. But a White House official told Reuters: "No final decision has been made."
The other two contenders for the Fed job are Stanford University economist John Taylor, and current Fed Governor Jerome Powell. Both are viewed as more hawkish than Yellen.
In mid-morning trading, 10-year US Treasury note yields were at 2.440 percent, slightly down from Wednesday's 2.444 percent. Ten-year yields hit a seven-month peak on Wednesday.
US 30-year bond yields were lower for most of the session, but were last little changed at 2.956 percent, from 2.955 percent the previous session. Thirty-year yields had risen to a five-month high on Wednesday.