TREASURIES-Bonds edge down ahead of Fed meeting

TOKYO, June 18 Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:24am EDT

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TOKYO, June 18 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasuries edged down in Asia on Tuesday, as investors positioned for the possibility that the U.S. Federal Reserve might not offer reassurance on its policy intentions at its meeting later this week.

* The Fed will begin its regular two-day meeting later on Tuesday, and investors will be watching closely for any clues that the central bank is poised to slow its stimulus.

A Reuters poll of economists show most believe the Fed will reduce its purchases by the end of 2013, and a significant number expect the Fed to taper its purchases as early as September.

* The Fed now buys $85 billion of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities every month to keep long-term interest rates low, and any hints about the end of its asset-buying have put upward pressure on yields.

* "Every Fed meeting lately, every time [Fed chief Ben] Bernanke speaks, it is like a hurdle that the market has to be overcome," said a fixed-income fund manager at a Japanese asset management firm in Tokyo.

"Nothing might happen, or something could emerge to push yields up again," he said.

* The yield on 10-year U.S. notes stood at 2.181 percent, up from 2.171 percent in late U.S. trading on Monday.

Last month, the benchmark yield jumped 46 basis points, its biggest one-month jump in nearly 2-1/2 years, according to Reuters data, on growing anticipation that the Fed will pare its purchases.

* The yield on 30-year notes was at 3.352 percent, edging up from 3.348 percent in late U.S. trade.

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