JGBs little changed as investors seek clarity on Fed policy

TOKYO, June 19 Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:21pm EDT

TOKYO, June 19 (Reuters) - Japanese government bonds were little changed on Wednesday in thin trading as investors look to how the U.S. Federal Reserve plans to slow down its bond buying.

* Investors think Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke might signal the Fed will start trimming its bond buying in September while stressing that tapering of stimulus will be gradual and a rate hike is still not on the horizon.

* The 10-year JGB futures price dropped 0.06 point to 142.89. Trade volume was low with only 9,998 lots changing hands by midday, less than 30 percent of its average daily volume.

* The yield on the 10-year cash bonds rose 0.5 basis point to 0.825 percent. The benchmark yield has been stuck in the 0.8-0.9 percent range for nearly three weeks, keeping some distance from a 13-month high of 1.0 percent hit last month.

* "On the whole the market has been calming down. That suggests that many people are now prepared for a rise in bond yields," said Tadashi Matsukawa, head of fixed income in investment at PineBridge Investments in Tokyo.

* "Of course, a lot depends now on what Bernanke will say. But if he doesn't radically change the market's perception, the JGBs are likely to gain," Matsukawa added.

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