TOKYO, March 8 The benchmark 10-year Japanese
government bond yield eased on Friday as investors were cautious
before a key U.S. jobs report later in the day, although prices
on superlong tenors slipped, extending their correction after a
rally earlier this week.
* The 30-year yield added 1.5 basis point to
1.805 percent, extending its bounce off a 2-1/2-year low of
1.625 percent reached on Tuesday and ahead of an auction of 700
billion yen ($7.4 billion) of similar maturities later on
Friday. The Ministry of Finance offers a coupon rate of 1.8
percent, the lowest since July 2003.
* The 10-year yield slipped 0.5 basis point
to 0.665 percent and 10-year futures rose 10 ticks to
145.22, not far from their record high of 145.38, even though
Tokyo's Nikkei share average jumped 2.1 percent.
* "People have priced in those domestic factors...the
bullish factors out of Japan already. We are not certain about
the U.S. outlook," said Maki Shimizu, senior strategist at
Citigroup Global Markets Japan.
"It seems that risk-on trades are resuming, or maybe not.
Payroll is the one key event that we need to monitor. The (JGB)
market seems to be holding up well."
* Those upbeat domestic factors included pension funds
rebalancing their portfolios after a surge in equities forced
them to trim their share holdings from exceeding allocation
limits and lead them to buy more bonds, and mounting
expectations that the Bank of Japan will buy more longer-dated
bonds under new leaderships from April.
* According to a Reuters survey of economists, U.S.
employers probably added 160,000 jobs last month, a modest
pick-up from January's 157,000 count, while the jobless rate was
likely to be steady at 7.9 percent.
* The 20-year yield put on 2 basis points to
1.625 percent after sinking to a near 10-year low of 1.450
percent on Tuesday.
* The Nikkei has jumped 41 percent, triggered by the yen's
weakness since mid-November after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
called for the BOJ to adopt aggressive monetary policy in his