TREASURIES-Prices gain slightly in safe-haven buying
* ECB reportedly mulling interest thresholds for bond buys * US benchmark yields up over 40 bps since late July * Investors look ahead to Fed minutes for stimulus clues By Chris Reese NEW YORK, Aug 20 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury debt prices edged higher on Monday as global stocks slipped bolstering the safe-haven appeal of U.S. government debt after the European Central Bank squashed speculation on a plan to contain the euro zone debt crisis. Treasuries began the day lower in price after German magazine Der Spiegel said the ECB was considering buying debt issued by vulnerable countries if their interest rates rose too high. But Treasuries turned higher after an ECB spokesman said it was misleading to report on decisions that still had not been taken. Also, Germany's Bundesbank on Monday reiterated its opposition to bond purchases. Safe-haven demand gave Treasuries a boost, and benchmark 10-year Treasury notes last traded 4/32 higher in price to yield 1.80 percent, down from 1.82 percent late Friday. Benchmark note yields have risen over 40 basis points from a record low of 1.38 percent hit on July 25 as slightly upbeat U.S. data damped expectations of a new round of economic stimulus from the Federal Reserve and after the ECB raised the prospect of more measures to tackle the euro zone debt crisis. Some analysts said the recent selling may have run its course. "While rates may have rebounded a little, there are several reasons to be skeptical," said Dimitri Delis, fixed income strategist at BMO Capital Markets in Chicago. "First, the European crisis has not been resolved, but most likely is taking a break from making headline news as August is a popular month for vacationing. Second, while some U.S. economic indicators have shown marginal improvements, others have been painting a more dire picture," Delis said. Traders are looking to the minutes of the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting due for release on Wednesday to gauge how inclined policymakers are to launch a further round of economic stimulus. In the meantime, 30-year Treasury bonds were trading 13/32 higher in price to yield 2.91 percent, down from 2.93 percent late Friday.
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