TOKYO, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Benchmark Japanese government bond prices edged lower on Wednesday, taking their cue from slightly stronger stocks, but most maturities were steady as investors’ attention turned to the U.S. fiscal crisis.
* Debate on the U.S. “fiscal cliff” resumed on Tuesday with the White House saying it was ready to negotiate with Republicans on taxes and spending. But a spokesman for President Barack Obama said he will keep insisting that tax rates on the wealthy must rise in 2013.
* “The market is watching developments in the U.S. which could keep U.S. Treasuries well-bid and support JGBs,” said a fixed-income fund manager at a Japanese trust bank.
* The 10-year JGB futures contract ended morning trade down 0.03 point at 144.51, after moving in a tight 144.48-144.53 range.
* The 10-year yield inched up half a basis point to 0.735 percent.
* Yields on other maturities were flat. The yields on 30-year bonds were at 1.900 percent, while those on 20-year debt stood 1.645 percent. The 5-year yield stood at 0.190 percent.
* The superlong tenor could come under mild selling pressure ahead of Thursday’s 20-year auction, market participants said.
* The Nikkei was slightly higher after falling for a seventh straight session on Tuesday.
* Underpinning bond market sentiment, Japan’s ruling and opposition parties agreed on Tuesday to quickly pass a deficit funding bill in parliament, in a move that will keep the country from falling off its version of a ‘fiscal cliff.'