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Treasurys edge up as Europe deal seems delayed

December 7, 2011
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NEW YORK—U.S. government bond prices edged up Wednesday after French and German officials lowered expectations that European leaders could craft a far-reaching agreement at a meeting this week.

European leaders will meet Friday to discuss ways to resolve the region's debt crisis. Many analysts expect European officials to put tighter constraints on government budgets. And spending limits could lead the European Central Bank to take a larger role in buying up debt from troubled countries. A German official said reaching a deal might take until Christmas, and a French official said it was less likely that an agreement would include all European Union leaders.

In Wednesday trading, the price of the 10-year Treasury rose 46.8 cents for every $100 invested. The higher price lowered its yield to 2.03 percent from 2.09 percent late Tuesday.

Treasury prices moved higher in the afternoon when the rating agency Standard & Poor's warned that it may strip the European Union of its long-term AAA rating. S&P also said it's considering downgrading many of the region's largest banks.

The 30-year Treasury bond rose 71.8 cents, and its yield dropped to 3.06 percent from 3.10 percent Tuesday. The yield on the two-year note inched down to 0.24 percent from 0.25 percent.

In the market for T-bills, the three-month bill paid a yield of 0.003 percent. Its discount was unavailable.

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