TOKYO, April 19 Japanese government bond prices
gained on Friday, with the superlong sector continuing to
outperform after this week's smooth 20-year sale and as market
participants welcomed the Bank of Japan's change to its
* The BOJ said late on Thursday that it will increase the
frequency of its JGB purchases to eight times a month from six,
while keeping its planned total amount of monthly purchases at
its initially announced 7.5 trillion yen ($76.36 billion).
The central bank also tweaked its purchase plans to a
targeted range for monthly buying in each sector rather than
from a specific target, which traders say will allow it more
flexibility in its purchases in response to supply conditions.
On Friday, the BOJ offered to buy a total of 800 billion yen
worth of JGBs maturing in more than 5 years, consisting of 300
billion yen with more than 10 years left to maturity and 500
billion yen with 5 to 10 years left to maturity.
* With the BOJ's operational changes and solid demand at
Thursday's auction of 1.2 trillion yen worth of 20-year debt,
some market participants said the recent volatility in the JGB
market might have calmed down for now and Friday's
bull-flattening trend could remain through next week.
* "Yields are coming down on the long end, and we might not
see any significant rise anywhere on the curve next week, ahead
of Golden Week," said a fixed-income fund manager at a Japanese
asset management firm.
* Japanese markets will be closed on April 29, May 1, and
May 3 for the Golden Week holidays. Ahead of that, the BOJ will
hold a policy meeting on April 26, at which it will update its
forecasts. Market participants are waiting to see whether BOJ
Governor Haruhiko Kuroda's two-year timeframe to attain its 2
percent inflation target becomes an official projection.
* The yield on benchmark 10-year bonds fell 3
basis points to 0.555 percent, while ten-year futures
ended morning trade up 0.20 point at 144.66.
* The superlong sector extended its gains, soothed by the
previous session's smooth 20-year sale.
The 20-year yield fell 8 basis points to a
one-week low of 1.415 percent, while the 30-year yield
also shed 8 basis points to 1.525 percent.