JGBs slip as stocks take back some lost ground
TOKYO, May 24 (Reuters) - Japanese government bond prices fell on Friday as stocks clawed back some of their steep losses in the previous session, though the benchmark yield remained well shy of the one percent threshold touched a day before. * The yield on the 10-year cash bonds added 4.5 basis points to 0.875 percent after rising as high as 0.905 percent earlier. On Thursday, it rose as high as one percent for the first time since April 2012. * The 10-year JGB futures contract ended morning trade down 0.58 point at 141.93 after falling as low as 141.64. * "The JGB market is back to normal today, or what passes for normal lately," said a fixed-income consultant at a European bank in Tokyo. * The Nikkei share average regained ground on Friday after a 7.3-percent dive in the previous session, its biggest one-day percentage drop in two years after weak Chinese factory data spooked investors. * Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Friday he hopes the Bank of Japan communicates with markets more than ever and takes appropriate action, such as through money market operations, to stabilise the bond market. * Japan's "Abenomics" economic policies are proceeding smoothly and Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda was communicating well with markets to soothe volatility, Economics Minister Akira Amari told a news conference on Friday. * Superlong bonds also dropped, with the 30-year bond yield adding 3 basis points to 1.880 percent, while the 20-year bond yield also rose 3 basis points to 1.720 percent. * The five-year bond also fell, with its yield adding 3 basis points to 0.380 percent. Total returns on 5-year JGBs are around the same as bank lending rates, which rates strategists at Barclays called "a highly attractive level given the credit risk for the latter." Assuming that the kind of major loss-cut spiral that occurred in 2003-2004 does not happen again, they told clients in a note that they see limited upside for 5-year yields.