TOKYO Feb 22 Japan government bonds rose on
Friday, with the benchmark yield dropping to a four-week low in
line with firmer U.S. Treasury prices on fading fears the U.S.
central bank will curb its asset buying soon.
* Treasuries rose on Thursday following several U.S. data
pointing to slow economic growth, such as weekly jobless claims
and factory activity, which calmed bond investors' fears that
the U.S. Federal Reserve would reduce to halt its asset
purchases before the end of this year.
* "The Bank of Japan will ease further, and the Fed will
keep its easy policy for the time being, and this is supportive
for bonds," said a fixed-income fund manager at a European asset
management firm in Tokyo.
* The yield on 10-year bonds shed 1.5 basis
points to 0.720 percent, its lowest since Jan. 25.
* Ten-year JGB futures ended morning trade up 0.14
point at 144.57, after rising as high as 144.60, their highest
since Dec. 13.
Futures are now above both their 55-day moving average at
144.23 as well as their 100-day moving average, now at 144.26.
* The superlong tenor rebounded on bargain-hunting after
underperforming in the previous session following a lacklustre
20-year sale. Life insurers were said to be buyers, market
The 30-year yield fell half a basis point to
1.935 percent, while the 20-year yield slipped
1.5 basis points to 1.730 percent, matching a four-week low
touched several times this week.
* The five-year yield was flat at a record low
of 0.130 percent hit earlier this week, on expectations that the
Bank of Japan will eventually increase the time left to maturity
- currently three years - of JGBs bought in its asset purchase
* Economics Minister Akira Amari kept the government's heat
on the central bank said on Friday, telling reporters after a
regular cabinet meeting that "decisive steps" by the BOJ would
help raise people's inflation expectations.
The central bank in January doubled its inflation target to 2
percent and made an open-ended pledge to buy assets from next
year in an attempt to pull the country out of deflation.