Benchmark JGBs mark fresh record before inching down ahead of sale

TOKYO, March 5 Mon Mar 4, 2013 9:46pm EST

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TOKYO, March 5 (Reuters) - Benchmark Japanese government bond yields crept higher ahead of a 10-year sale on Tuesday, but not before yields marked their lowest in a decade on continued expectations of vigorous easing from the Bank of Japan.

* The government's nominees to be BOJ deputy governors, Hiroshi Nakaso and Kikuo Iwata, underscored on Tuesday their commitment to beat deflation if appointed.

* The yield on the benchmark 10-year JGB added half a basis point to 0.610 percent after earlier dropping as low as 0.585 percent, its lowest since June 2003.

* The Ministry of Finance offered 2.4 trillion yen ($25.7 billion) of 10-year JGBs with a coupon of 0.6 percent, the lowest since June 2003's 0.5 percent.

* "Even with that coupon, auction demand will probably be robust due to the timing at the end of the fiscal year, as well as the BOJ expectations," said a fixed-income fund manager at a Japanese asset management firm.

Japanese investors continued buying ahead of the March 3 financial year-end, he said.

* The 10-year JGB futures contract, slipped 0.12 point after rising to a morning session peak of 145.38, an all-time high.

* Superlong bonds continued their rally, with the 30-year bond yield shedding 1.5 basis points to 1.660 percent, its lowest level since August 2010. In the previous session, the 30-year yield plunged fell 9.0 basis points, its biggest daily fall since mid-2010.

The 20-year yield also wallowed at its lowest levels since mid-2003, losing 1 basis point to 1.480 percent after cratering 9 basis points on Monday.