* Yields hover just above Tuesday's record lows
* U.S. new home sales data disappoints
* Five-year note auction has record low yield
By Chris Reese
NEW YORK, July 25 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury debt prices eased marginally on Wednesday as expectations central banks will have to move further to stem slowing economic growth spurred some tentative buying of riskier assets, at the cost of lower-risk U.S. government debt.
Yields, however, remained very near record lows. Price losses were limited by data showing weak new housing starts last month and by investor efforts to push for price concessions as the Treasury auctions $99 billion of new debt this week.
Treasury yields have been pushed down by the global growth concerns, worries Spain will need a massive financial bailout on top of a bank rescue plan already in place, and worries that Greece's debt woes could eventually force the country's exit from the euro zone.
Yields on Spanish and Italian debt retreated slightly on Wednesday from the record highs hit on Tuesday, and some U.S. stocks traded higher, with the Dow Jones industrial average breaking a three-day losing streak.
"We continue to be following what Spain and Italy are doing and what equities are doing, and you are seeing a little bit of a risk-on move today," said Rick Klingman, managing director of Treasury trading at BNP Paribas in New York.
Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes traded 3/32 lower in price to yield 1.41 percent, up from a record low of 1.39 percent reached on Tuesday.
Increasingly disappointing economic data globally has raised bets on more central bank actions around the world.
In the United States, investors are watching for signs of further stimulus from the Federal Reserve. Fed officials have already started to think about new tools they could use beyond a possible third round of quantitative easing to spur growth.
Separately, data showed new U.S. home sales in June fell by the most in more than a year, suggesting a setback for the budding housing market recovery.
Some investors expect a relative lack of safe-haven assets and Europe's ongoing problems to maintain solid demand for Treasuries, even as yields hit record lows.
"There's a general absence of risk-free assets in the world and there is huge demand for risk-free assets in uncertain times, so we continue to see regular demand for Treasuries," said Robert Bayston, a portfolio manager at Standish Mellon in Boston.
That said, the low returns and the risk, even if unlikely, that yields could back up again quickly are keeping some investors on the sidelines.
"We're not inclined to add a lot of Treasury exposure at these levels," Bayston said. "We think Treasury valuations are stretched, but clearly they can maintain that for quite some time."
Investors were pushing for some concessions from the lofty price levels in light of Treasury auctions this week. A total of $35 billion of five-year notes were sold at a record low yield on Wednesday, following on a record low yield in the sale of $35 billion of two-year notes on Tuesday.
The Treasury will sell $29 billion of seven-year notes on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Treasuries also were undermined by weakness in German bunds, which have been worsening since Moody's Investors Service on Monday changed its outlook for Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg to negative from stable.
The rating action added to concerns the countries will face higher costs from bailing out struggling countries in the euro zone, like Greece.
U.S. bonds typically fall in concert with German government debt, though in recent weeks Treasuries have benefited from an outflow from even the safest euro zone countries. (Additional reporting by Karen Brettell; Editing by Leslie Adler)