After turning higher over the course of the previous session, treasuries extended the upward move during trading on Tuesday.
Bond prices showed an initial move to the upside and remained positive throughout the session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, dipped 2.4 basis points to 1.740 percent.
Treasuries benefited from their appeal as a safe haven amid lingering uncertainty about a potential U.S.-China trade deal.
A statement from China’s Commerce Ministry revealed Chinese Vice Premier Liu He held a phone call with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin earlier Tuesday.
The statement said the two sides discussed how to resolve each other’s core concerns, reached consensus on how to resolve related issues, and agreed to maintain communication on the remaining issues in the first phase of agreement negotiations.
Treasuries remained positive following the release of the results of the Treasury Department’s auction of $41 billion worth of five-year notes, which attracted above average demand.
The five-year note auction drew a high yield of 1.587 percent and a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.50, while the ten previous five-year note auctions had an average bid-to-cover ratio of 2.38.
The bid-to-cover ratio is a measure of demand that indicates the amount of bids for each dollar worth of securities being sold.
On the U.S. economic front, the Conference Board released a report unexpectedly showing a continued drop in consumer confidence in November.
The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index fell to 125.5 in November from an upwardly revised 126.1 in October.
Economists had expected the consumer confidence index to inch up to 126.9 from the 125.9 originally reported for the previous month.
“Consumer confidence declined for a fourth consecutive month, driven by a softening in consumers’ assessment of current business and employment conditions,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board.
“However, consumers’ short-term expectations improved modestly, and growth in early 2020 is likely to remain at around 2 percent,” she added. “Overall, confidence levels are still high and should support solid spending during this holiday season.”
A separate report from the Commerce Department showed new home sales pulled back from a significantly upwardly level in October.
The Commerce Department said new home sales fell by 0.7 percent to an annual rate of 733,000 in October after surging up by 4.5 percent to an upwardly revised rate of 738,000 in September.
Economists had expected new home sales to jump by 1.1 percent to a rate of 709,000 from the 701,000 originally reported for the previous month.
With the upward revision, new home sales in September were at their highest level since hitting 778,000 in July of 2007.
Looking ahead, the Treasury is due to announce the results of its auction of $32 billion worth of seven-year notes on Wednesday.
Trading on Wednesday may also be impacted by reaction to a slew of U.S. economic data, including reports on weekly jobless claims, durable goods orders, personal income and spending and pending home sales.
The Federal Reserve is also due to release its Beige Book, a compilation of anecdotal evidence on economic conditions in the twelve Fed districts.