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U.S. Treasury yields in focus as investors track economic data

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The 10-year Treasury yield was near flat after briefly reaching a new high for the year on Wednesday.

The benchmark rate slipped less than 1 basis point to 4.363%. At one point, the yield traded at its highest level back to late November. 

The 2-year Treasury note yield lost more than 1 basis point, last sitting at 4.687%.

Yields and prices move in opposite directions. One basis point equals 0.01%.

Private payroll data from ADP released Wednesday morning showed more growth than anticipated. Companies added 184,000 workers in March, which was higher than the 155,000 estimate of economists polled by Dow Jones. It also marked the fastest pace of growth since July 2023.

The market moves come as investors track economic data and closely monitor clues from Fed policymakers about the expected number of interest rate cuts in 2024. Traders see a nearly 99% likelihood that rates remain unchanged at the Fed’s May policy meeting, according to the CME Fed WatchTool as of Wednesday afternoon. They’re anticipating a 62.5% probability of a cut at the June gathering, a significant decline from the 70.1% figure seen a week ago.

Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic said he only sees one rate cut this year, occurring in the fourth quarter. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in the afternoon that the central bank needs more evidence of easing inflation before lowering the cost of borrowing money.

Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester said Tuesday that she still expects interest rate cuts this year, but ruled out their being implemented at the next policy meeting in May.

Separately, San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly, said that she anticipates cuts this year, but not until there is more convincing evidence that inflation has been subdued.

Last month, the U.S. central bank met expectations and left monetary policy unchanged for the fifth consecutive time, keeping its benchmark overnight borrowing rate in a range of 5.25%-5.5%.

The Fed also signaled at the time that it still expects three quarter-percentage point cuts by the end of the year.

— CNBC’s Jeff Cox contributed to this report.

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