TREASURIES-Bonds flat in Asia, all eyes on U.S. jobs data

TOKYO Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:50pm EST

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TOKYO Feb 1 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasuries were little changed in Asia on Friday, with all eyes on the jobs report due later in the day as investors seek to gauge the speed of recovery in the U.S. job market, which holds the key to the U.S. monetary policy outlook.

* Ten-year notes traded at a yield of 1.992 percent , little changed from 1.985 percent in late U.S. trade, and off a nine-month high of 2.037 percent hit on Wednesday.

* If the yield closes above 2.01 percent, a 61.8 percent retracement of the yield's fall from 2.40 to 1.38 percent in March-July last year, that could lead to a test of resistance from its channel top around 2.08 percent, George Davis, chief technical analyst at RBC Dominion Securities, said in report.

* Treasuries have been under pressure as investors move funds from bonds to riskier assets as fears over the euro zone debt crisis ease, and sharp fiscal contraction in the United States.

* The 10-year yields posted the biggest monthly rise since March 2012 in January, gaining about 22 basis points, but it has so far unable to stay sustainable above the two percent mark, a major psychological resistance.

* A strong employment report could help clear the hurdle, however, as it could spark expectations that the Fed may scale back its bond buying programme. It is due at 1330 GMT.

* The median of forecasts from analysts polled by Reuters is for U.S. employers to have added 160,000 new jobs in January, up slightly from 155,000 new positions in December. The unemployment rate is expected to be unchanged from 7.8 percent in December.

* "If it's above 200,000, it's going to be quite nasty for Treasuries," said a trader at a Japanese bank.

* On Thursday, data showed initial weekly jobless claims rose off five-year lows to levels consistent with tepid job growth, with claims rising more than expected.

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