Superlong JGBs underperform, 10-year steady on BOJ easing hopes

TOKYO, March 6 Tue Mar 5, 2013 9:20pm EST

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TOKYO, March 6 (Reuters) - Prices on superlong Japanese government bonds fell on Wednesday, giving up some of the steep gains earlier this week, although the 10-year yield held steady, supported by expectations that the Bank of Japan will embark on further aggressive monetary easing.

* The 20-year yield rose 3.5 basis points to 1.580 percent after tugging close to a 10-year trough of 1.450 percent on Tuesday, while the 30-year yield also added 3.5 basis points to 1.765 percent after sinking to a 2-1/2-year low of 1.625 percent in the previous day.

* The 10-year yield was unchanged at 0.660 percent ahead of the conclusion of the central bank's two-day policy meeting on Thursday, while 10-year futures rose 15 ticks to 145.13, holding above their five-day moving average of 145.10.

* "The market has been driven by expectations that the BOJ will continue to ease monetary policy and may extend the maturities that the JGBs it buys, particularly after April," said Yuya Yamashita, rates strategist at J.P. Morgan.

* The underperformance in the superlong sectors led to a steepening of the yield curve on Wednesday, with the spread between 10- and 30-year bonds rising to 110.5 basis points from a 6-1/2-month low of 105.5 basis points hit on Tuesday.

* Shorter-dated five-year yield was also unchanged, at 0.110 percent, not far from its record low of 0.095 percent reached on Monday, also helped by the central bank's easing expectations.

* The finance ministry is to sell 700 billion yen ($7.50 billion) worth of 30-year debt on Thursday.

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