TREASURIES-Bonds gain in Asia, retail sales in focus
TOKYO, March 13
TOKYO, March 13 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasuries ticked up in Asia on Wednesday, extending their gains following a retreat in U.S. shares the previous day, with upcoming U.S. retail sales data in focus.
* The yield on 10-year notes dipped slightly to 2.014 percent compared with 2.019 percent in late U.S. trade on Tuesday and down from an 11-month high of 2.087 percent hit after strong payrolls data on Friday.
* While the February jobs data pointed to a solid recovery in U.S. employment, boosting share prices, the Federal Reserve's bond buying underpinned the Treasuries market.
* Some investors are not convinced if the U.S. economy can gain further momentum in the face of a sharp fiscal drag, including tax hikes in January and spending cuts that set in this month.
* "We need to be cautious about downside risks in today's retail sales data as the full impact of payroll tax hikes might not have been in January data. And there was also talk last month that Wal-Mart had a sales slump in February," said Shinichiro Kadota, fixed income strategist at Barclays.
* Kadota was referring to media reports that quoted a mid-level executive's email as saying the world's largest retailer, seen as a bellwether of U.S. consumption, had the worst sales start to any month in seven years in February.
* Economists polled by Reuters expect retail sales to have risen 0.5 percent in February after a 0.1 percent increase in January. The data is due at 1230 GMT.