TOKYO, May 2 (IFR) - Japanese government bond prices were
mostly firm on Friday, with most tenors supported by buying
ahead of a long holiday weekend in Japan.
Tokyo markets will be closed for Japan's Golden Week string
of holidays, and will reopen from next Wednesday.
In early trading, several real money accounts bought 6-year
and 10-year JGBs in relatively large amounts, to average down
their costs following a continued fall in U.S. Treasury yields
overnight, ahead of key U.S. employment data later this session.
U.S. Treasury prices rose on Thursday, pushing yields on
long-dated bonds to multi-month lows, as investors continued to
cover short positions ahead of the nonfarm payrolls report later
The yield on 30-year JGBs turned modestly weaker after the
Bank of Japan's purchase operations. The BOJ offered to buy 400
billion yen ($3.91 billion) of JGBs maturing in more than 5
years and within 10 years, in addition to 110 billion yen of
JGBs maturing in less than 1 year. Most market participants had
expected the BOJ to buy 170 billion yen of JGBs maturing in more
than 10 years.
In early afternoon trading, the yield on the current 5-year
JGBs was unchanged on the day at 0.190 percent.
The benchmark 10-year yield as well as the
20-year yield inched down half a basis point to
0.610 percent and 1.470 percent respectively. The 30-year yield
was flat at 1.705 percent, after rising as high
as 1.710 percent earlier.
Ten-year lead June JGB futures moved in a narrow
144.99 to 145.05 range in the morning session before finishing
at midday up 0.07 point at 145.04, and were last up 0.13 point
Early in the session, data showed Japanese household
spending soared at the fastest annual pace in 39 years in March
as consumers rushed to beat a sales tax hike that kicked off in
April, which some fear could set the stage for a pullback in
consumption that could hamper the economic recovery in coming
Other data showed the jobless rate held steady at a nearly
seven-year low and the availability of jobs continued to
The mostly upbeat economic data had a limited negative
impact on JGBs, as many money managers remain focused on gauging
the impact of the tax hike in the April-June quarter, according
to a few domestic pension fund managers.
($1 = 102.2700 Japanese Yen)
(Reporting by Masatsugu Hisatsune; Editing by Eric Meijer)