EURO GOVT-Bunds lower with economic signals in focus

LONDON Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:10am EST

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LONDON Jan 24 (Reuters) - German Bund futures inched lower on Thursday with focus for the session falling on the first taste of economic data on euro zone business activity this year.

The Bund future fell 15 ticks to 143.44, backing off the 143.70 upper limit of the range that on Wednesday survived the latest of several tests since early January.

Preliminary euro zone manufacturing and service sector activity data for January will be closely watched for any sign that the recent improvement in sentiment towards the region's peripheral states can be backed up with improving fundamentals.

"The PMIs will be interesting to see. Given the change in sentiment marginal improvement seems to be the expectation, the risk for Bunds is a surprise to the upside," a trader said, adding that weak figures from the periphery could halt the recent rally.

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