TREASURIES-Prices steady to higher on the edge of "cliff"

Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:40am EST

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* "Fiscal cliff" deadline only hours away
    * Yields well within a range that has held since early
August

    By Chris Reese
    NEW YORK, Dec 31 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury debt prices were
steady to slightly higher on Monday as investors stayed on the
sidelines while Washington officials made last-minute efforts to
avert the "fiscal cliff" of tax increases and government
spending cuts set to begin tomorrow.
    The U.S. Congress comes back on Monday without a deal to
avert the "fiscal cliff" and only a few hours of actual
legislative time scheduled in which to act if an agreement
materializes. 
    Investors fear the series of tax increases and cuts to the
federal budget, set to begin at the start of the New Year, could
push the world's largest economy back into recession.
    "Treasuries remain in a holding pattern as the market awaits
the results of the budget debates," said David Ader, head of
government bond strategy at CRT Capital Group in Stamford,
Connecticut.
    Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes were trading
2/32 higher in price with their yield little changed from Friday
at 1.70 percent, while 30-year bonds were 1/32
higher in price with their yield steady at 2.87 percent.
    Treasuries prices rose last week as worries over the impact
of the "fiscal cliff" spurred safe-haven buying of U.S.
government debt, but yields remain well within a range that has
held since early August.
    The Treasury market will close early on Monday, at 2 p.m.
EST (1900 GMT) ahead of the New Year's Day holiday on Tuesday.
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