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Treasury yields climb, with focus on hawkish Fed comments and economic data

U.S. Treasury yields climbed on Friday morning, as investors remained focused on hawkish comments from Federal Reserve officials.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note jumped 6 basis points to 1.772% in afternoon trading. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond moved up a similar amount to 2.11%. Yields move inversely to prices and 1 basis point is equal to 0.01%.

The 10-year yield has spiked since the beginning of year, amid concerns around the Fed tightening monetary policy. The benchmark yield had drifted modestly lower this week before Friday’s rise.

On the data front, December’s retail sales data came in worse than expected on Friday, showing a decline of 1.9%. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had penciled in a decline of just 0.1%.

Industrial production data for December and the the University of Michigan preliminary consumer sentiment index for January both came in lower than expected. In the report, consumers said they expected inflation to be 3.1% over the next five years.

On Thursday, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker told CNBC’s “Closing Bell” that he believed that interest rates could be hiked three or four times this year.

Earlier that day, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said he saw three interest rates as most likely this year, but was also open to more.

These developments follow the release of key inflation data. The December producer price index, released on Thursday morning, rose 0.2% month on month, though this was slightly below economists’ forecast of a 0.4% increase.

However, the December consumer price index, which came out on Wednesday, showed a 7% jump year on year. This represented the fastest increase over a 12-month period since 1982.

Peter Toogood, chief investment officer at Embark Group, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” on Friday that the Fed was “now just being realistic” with its more hawkish comments amid rising pricing pressures.

He said that Fed was “probably trying to talk down bonds, as opposed to necessarily taking the action required and then probably hoping that open-mouth operations can be helpful to stop the very steep curve.”

Stock picks and investing trends from CNBC Pro:

There are no auctions scheduled to be held on Friday.

CNBC’s Jeff Cox and Pippa Stevens contributed to this market report.

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