TREASURIES-U.S. bonds edge higher, focus on debt ceiling

SINGAPORE Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:46pm EST

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SINGAPORE Jan 16 (Reuters) - U.S. 10-year Treasuries held firm in Asia on Wednesday, after advancing the previous day on traders' increasing concern over the looming fight in Washington to raise the federal debt ceiling.

* Ten-year notes rose 3/32 in price to yield roughly 1.826 percent. The 10-year yield was down 1 basis point from late U.S. trade, and was within sight of a two-week low near 1.81 percent set on Tuesday.

* The 10-year yield is likely to move in a 1.8 percent to 2.1 percent range over the next few weeks, said Tomoaki Shishido, rate analyst for Nomura Securities in Tokyo.

That range could shift higher around early March, if the U.S. debt ceiling is raised by then and economic indicators show that the U.S. economy is holding up relatively well, he said.

"I think there will ultimately be a compromise and that the debt ceiling will be raised in a reasonable manner," Shishido said.

Most investors expect the U.S debt ceiling will be raised to avert a default in Treasuries. But a deal could come down to the wire, and there is concern that the resulting uncertainty could pare investors' appetite for equities and other risky assets.

* The U.S. Treasury cautioned on Monday that the United States was on track to exhaust its options to meet its debt obligations between mid-February and early March.

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