TOKYO, Dec 19 (IFR) - Japanese government bond prices ended Thursday's morning session marginally mixed, with the superlong 30- and 40-year yields down on the back of buying by overseas life insurers ahead of the massive quarterly JGB redemption set for Friday.
JGBs opened weaker after the Federal Reserve began to scale back its massive stimulus, signalling that the U.S. economy is on the mend.
But the longer-maturities turned firmer on the back of buying by overseas life insurance companies, according to JGB traders.
The 30-year yield was down 1 basis point at 1.670 percent after earlier rising to 1.700 percent.
The 10-year yield added 0.5 basis point to 0.660 percent, while the 20-year yield was up 1 basis point at 1.530 percent.
Ten-year JGB futures added 2 ticks to 144.15.
Traders said several pension funds were expected to buy 10- and 20-year JGBs after lunch, depending on the auction results of the 300 billion yen ($2.9 billion) worth off-the-run 10- and 20-year debt.
Market participants expected the Bank of Japan would stand pat at its two-day policy meeting concluding on Friday, encouraged by an upbeat business sentiment survey that added to signs the benefits of its massive stimulus are spreading through broader sectors of the economy.