TOKYO Feb 27 Benchmark 10-year Japanese
government bond yield fell to a near 10-year low on Wednesday as
investors' continued their flight-to-quality after an
inconclusive Italian election raised concern that efforts to
resolve the euro zone debt crisis could suffer.
* A pause in the yen's weakening after the Italian poll
helped knock Japanese equities lower, with the Tokyo's Nikkei
down 0.9 percent, while U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman
Ben Bernanke's comments on bond-buying also eased concerns that
the Fed might make an early withdrawal of support for the debt
market, which prevented the Treasury yields from rising despite
better economic data.
* "The market had expected him to comment on an exit
strategy ... (but) Bernanke tried to correct such expectations,"
said Maki Shimizu, senior strategist at Citigroup Global Markets
* Shimizu said the stall in yen's weakening against the
dollar and the euro would likely keep the equity market in
check, supporting the JGB yields. "(Any rise in yield) is a
major concern for domestic investors ahead of March
bookclosing," she said.
* The 10-year yield slipped 1 basis point to
0.670 percent, hitting a fresh near 10-year low and appearing
set to fall for a fifth straight session, while 10-year JGB
futures rose 12 ticks to 144.96 to a two-month high.
* The 30-year yield eased 2 basis points to
1.850 percent, touching a six-month low, and the 20-year yield
also dipped 2 basis points, to 1.660 percent, a
* The five-year yield was unchanged at a
record low of 0.115 percent. The short-end of the yield curve
has been supported by expectations of bolder monetary easing by
the Bank of Japan once Prime Minister Shinzo Abe nominates a new