TREASURIES-Bonds slip slightly in Asia after U.S. data

TOKYO Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:59pm EST

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TOKYO Jan 25 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasuries slipped slightly in Asian trading on Friday, after better-than-expected U.S. data suggested the economy could be improving.

* New claims for jobless benefits fell to a five-year low last week, data on Thursday showed, and a separate gauge of manufacturing activity unexpectedly rose to a nearly 2-year high.

* Yields on 10-year Treasuries crept up slightly to 1.856 percent in Asian trade on Friday, from 1.852 percent in late U.S. trade on Thursday.

* Yields on 30-year Treasuries inched higher to 3.048 percent, from 3.047 percent on Thursday.

* "The U.S. economy has showed signs of strengthening, which has pushed up Treasury yields," said Ayako Sera, market economist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.

"The jobless claims data were better than expected, and this pushed up yields, and the dollar followed," she said. "We have to see what the U.S. payrolls report next week shows, but if it's strong, it could be tough for bonds."

* Analysts polled by Reuters expect the government's employment report due on Feb. 1 will show 165,000 jobs were added to payrolls this month, up from 155,000 new positions in December. The unemployment rate is expected to hold steady at 7.8 percent.

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