Demand for U.S. government debt remained strong Thursday as yields on Italian government bonds stayed stubbornly high after the latest auction.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury note edged up 18.8 cents per $100 invested. Its yield fell to 1.90 percent from 1.93 percent late Wednesday.
Italy paid 6.98 percent on a 10-year bond auction, dangerously close to the 7 percent threshold at which Greece and Portugal had to seek bailouts from their creditors. That kept demand high for relatively low-risk assets like Treasurys.
In other trading the 30-year bond rose 37.5 cents. Its yield fell to 2.90 percent from 2.92 percent. The yield on the two-year note was unchanged at 0.27 percent.
The yield on the three-month T-bill was 0.01 percent. Its discount wasn't available.
Trading was quiet on the second-to-last trading day of 2011. Markets will be closed Monday in observance of New Year's Day, which falls on Sunday.