TREASURIES-US 10-yr notes slip after rising on euro zone worry

SINGAPORE Mon Feb 4, 2013 10:56pm EST

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SINGAPORE Feb 5 (Reuters) - U.S. 10-year Treasuries inched lower on Tuesday, taking a breather after rallying the previous day, when safe haven U.S. debt rose on worries about mounting political uncertainty in Spain and Italy.

* Ten-year Treasuries slipped 2/32 in price to yield about 1.964 percent, up about 1 basis point from late U.S. trade. The 10-year yield has slipped back after hitting a high of 2.059 percent on Monday, its highest level since April 12 of last year.

* Treasuries bounced on Monday as political news from Europe triggered a rise in Spanish and Italian bond yields and stoked a bid for safe haven U.S. debt. A fall in U.S. shares also gave Treasuries a boost on Monday.

Spain's opposition party on Sunday called for the resignation of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy over a corruption scandal. Rajoy denies any wrongdoing.

In Italy, the increased popularity of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and his chances of regaining power also raised worries about Italy's struggle to fix its fiscal problems.

* Market players, however, cautioned against reading too much into Monday's moves at this point.

The headlines about Europe were probably used as a reason to take profits on positions betting on a rise in risky assets, said Tomoaki Shishido, rate analyst for Nomura Securities in Tokyo. A sharp rally in Treasuries seems unlikely at this point, even if they do find some support, he said.

"The (Treasuries) market has dropped to levels that look attractive, so prices are likely to be supported on the downside," he said, adding that 10-year notes will probably find good support at levels near 2.1 percent on the 10-year yield.

"But it is hard to think there will be any factors in the near term that could trigger a major bounce (in Treasuries)," Shishido said.

* Moves in European markets later on Tuesday, and whether they retrace some of the moves seen on Monday, could help determine whether market players start refocusing attention on the risks associated with the euro zone's sovereign debt crisis in a major way, said a trader for a U.S. brokerage house in Tokyo.

"If there is a retracement today, I don't think the focus will return to such issues all that much," he said.

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