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Extending the advance seen over the course of the previous session, treasuries moved to the upside during the trading day on Tuesday.

Bond prices gave back some ground in afternoon trading but remained in positive territory. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, fell by 2.7 basis points to 1.994 percent.

With the continued decrease on the day, the ten-year yield closed below 2 percent for the first time since Election Day in 2016.

Treasuries benefited from lingering uncertainty about the upcoming meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping and rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran as well as some disappointing economic data.

Reflecting the escalation in trade and tariff tensions earlier this month, the Conference Board released a report showing a substantial deterioration in U.S. consumer confidence in the month of June.

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index tumbled to 121.5 in June from a downwardly revised 131.3 in May. Economists had expected the index to dip to 132.0 from the 134.1 originally reported for the previous month.

With the much steeper than expected drop, the consumer confidence index slumped to its lowest level since hitting 120.6 in September of 2017.

"The escalation in trade and tariff tensions earlier this month appears to have shaken consumers' confidence," said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at the Conference Board.

She added, "Although the Index remains at a high level, continued uncertainty could result in further volatility in the Index and, at some point, could even begin to diminish consumers' confidence in the expansion."

A separate report from the Commerce Department also unexpectedly showed a steep drop in new home sales in the U.S. in the month of May.

The Commerce Department said new home sales plunged by 7.8 percent to an annual rate of 626,000 in May after tumbling by 3.7 percent to a revised rate of 679,000 in April.

Economists had expected new home sales to climb by 1 percent to a rate of 680,000 from the 673,000 originally reported for the previous month.

Bond prices gave back some ground in afternoon trading after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated that the central bank will "act as appropriate" to sustain the economic expansion but did not appear to signal the imminent interest rate cut currently being priced in by the markets.

"Many FOMC participants judge that the case for somewhat more accommodative policy has strengthened," Powell said during a speech before the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

He added, "But we are also mindful that monetary policy should not overreact to any individual data point or short-term swing in sentiment."

The modest pullback by treasuries also came after the Treasury Department revealed its auction of $40 billion worth of two-year notes attracted average demand.

The two-year note auction drew a high yield of 1.695 percent and a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.58, while the ten previous two-year note auctions had an average bid-to-cover ratio of 2.59.

The bid-to-cover ratio is a measure of demand that indicates the amount of bids for each dollar worth of securities being sold.

A report on durable goods orders and the results of the Treasury's five-year note auction may attract some attention on Wednesday, although traders may continue to look ahead to the Trump-Xi meeting at the G20 summit.