Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields rose slightly on Thursday, following a flurry of economic data and an announcement by the European Central Bank of its less aggressive-than-expected monetary tightening plans. .

* Economic data showed retail sales rose 0.5% in March, just below the 0.6% estimate, while February data was revised up to show a 0.8% increase, compared to the 0.3% rise initially reported. March gains were helped by rising gasoline prices.

* For its part, the labor market continued to show its strength, with an increase of 18,000 weekly applications for unemployment benefits, to 185,000, above the estimate of 171,000, but still a healthy number.

* Bond yields started to rise after the ECB maintained plans to end its stimulus program in the third quarter, though it gave no further details on its timetable for interest rate hikes, citing uncertainties stemming from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

* The benchmark 10-year note yield rose 9.4 basis points to 2.783%.

* New York Fed President John Williams said Thursday that raising rates by half a percentage point should be reasonably considered at its next meeting in May, echoing calls from other policymakers.

* The return on 30-year paper rose 9.1 basis points to 2.887%.

* A closely watched portion of the yield curve that measures the spread between the yield on 2-year and 10-year bonds, seen as a gauge of economic expectations, stood at 34.9 basis points.

* The yield on two-year debt, which tends to move in step with rate expectations, was up 9.1 basis points at 2.433%.

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