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NEW YORK: US Treasury yields recovered from almost four-year highs reached overnight on Monday as investors weighed whether a dramatic week-long selloff had run its course, after improving economic data raised expectations of further rate hikes this year.

Benchmark 10-year note yields surged to 2.885 percent overnight, the highest since January 2014, following data Friday that showed hourly wages rose in January.

They fell back to 2.841 percent in morning trading in New York.

Signs that inflation is firming have raised some traders' expectations that the Federal Reserve may hike interest rates four times this year. Fed officials have indicated that three rate hikes are likely.

Many investors are reluctant to stand in the way of the selloff, which has sent the 10-year yields up from a low of 2.654 percent last Monday, until they see signs of stabilization.

"Even if you think it's gone too far, or even if you think we've sold off a little more than probably warranted at this point, you don't really have those buyers that are willing to step in and stop it until we see some signs of slowing," said Blake Gwinn, an interest rate strategist at NatWest Markets in Stamford, Connecticut.

Declining equity markets in tandem with weaker bonds as economic growth improves also indicate nervousness about US central bank policy.

"This is typically the dynamic you see when it's about Fed expectations," Gwinn said.

With no major economic releases due this week, attention will turn to supply and speeches by regional Fed presidents.

The Treasury will sell $66 billion in notes and bonds this week, including $26 billion in three-year notes on Tuesday, $24 billion in 10-year notes on Wednesday and $16 billion in 30-year bonds on Thursday.

Fed speakers include St. Louis Fed President James Bullard on Tuesday, and New York Fed President William Dudley, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans and San Francisco Fed President John Williams on Wednesday.

Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari and Kansas Fed President Esther George are also due to speak on Thursday.

 

Copyright Reuters, 2018

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