U.S. government debt prices were lower Wednesday morning as market focus remained attuned to the reopening of state economies and smoldering tensions between Washington and Beijing over the coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday urged China for transparency about the origins of the virus which has now infected more than 3.6 million people worldwide, with more than 1.2 million cases confirmed in the U.S.
The White House has also urged the European Union to back an international inquiry into China’s handling of the pandemic, which broke out in Wuhan at the end of last year. Former White House trade negotiator Clete Williams told CNBC that renewed tensions between the U.S. and China represent “the start of a new Cold War.”
However, Wall Street has posted back-to-back gains to start the week as states across the U.S., including the coastal hubs of California and New York, signaled their intent to roll back lockdown measures for some sections of their economies.
Several Federal Reserve policymakers on Tuesday indicated that the U.S. economy may begin a slow and uneven recovery in the second half of the year, after what is shaping up to become the worst recession in decades.
On the data front, the ADP employment change figure for April is due 8:15 a.m. ET on Wednesday.
An auction will be held Wednesday for $35 billion of 154-day Treasury bills.