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10-Year Treasury Yield Hits the Highest Since 2019 After Powell's Remarks

Source: NYSE

The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield hit a multi-year high Tuesday as investors digested comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on rate hikes.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose 6.2 basis points to 2.379% at 4:05 p.m. ET. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond gained 6.7 basis points to 2.603%. Yields move inversely to prices and 1 basis point is equal to 0.01%.

The benchmark 10-year yield earlier in the session hit a fresh high of 2.392%, the highest level since May 2019.

Powell on Monday said, "inflation is much too high," in a speech for the National Association for Business Economics

The central bank chief emphasized the Fed would continue to raise interest rates until inflation is under control, and that hikes could get even more aggressive than forecast.

"If we conclude that it is appropriate to move more aggressively by raising the federal funds rate by more than 25 basis points at a meeting or meetings, we will do so," said Powell.

Some market participants raised their expectations for rate hikes following Powell's comments. Goldman Sachs on Monday upped its forecast to 50 basis point hikes at the May and June Fed meetings.

"The tone and the message he's delivering is, 'we are going to tighten policy,'" Kathy Jones, chief fixed-income strategist at Charles Schwab, said. "The more aggressive they are and the faster the folks of the Fed move, the more you get a flatter yield curve."

On the geopolitical front, talks between Russia and Ukraine have so far failed to make progress. Ukraine on Monday rejected an ultimatum to surrender its besieged port city of Mariupol to Russian forces.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told Eurovision News that ultimatums won't work as trapped Ukrainians will "fight till the end."

Investors are also keeping an eye on the spread of an omicron subvariant across Europe, along with China's worst Covid-19 outbreak since the beginning of the pandemic.

There are no major economic data releases slated for Tuesday.

An auction is scheduled to be held on Tuesday for $34 billion of 52-week bills.

CNBC.com staff contributed to this market report.

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