TOKYO Nov 15 U.S. Treasuries were supported in
Asia on Thursday, bolstered by investor concerns that protracted
gridlock in Washington could cause a budget crisis that would
send the economy reeling.
* The yield on 10-year notes stood at 1.593 percent
, little changed from late U.S. levels and just above
its 10-week low of 1.572 percent hit on Tuesday.
* If the White House and a divided Congress do not produce a
deal on the federal budget before year-end, a series of
automatic tax hikes and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff
will phase in early in 2013.
* President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that Republicans
would have to agree to raise taxes on the wealthy as the first
step in a budget deal. But top Republican lawmakers have been
steadfast in pushing to hold down tax rates for top earners.
* Few market players expect a compromise between the
Democrats and the Republicans any time soon, and that is likely
to suggest firm support for Treasuries in coming weeks.
* "You can't expect any progress before the Thanksgiving (on
Nov. 22). If they are moving towards a compromise deal, then
perhaps we may hear some news of progress in the first week of
December," said Tomoaki Shishido, fixed income analyst at Nomura
* The market also drew support from minutes of the Federal
Reserve policy meeting in October, in which a number of
officials reckoned the central bank would need to ramp up its
bond purchases to help the economy.
* The minutes showed a number of Fed officials thought the
central bank would need to buy more bonds when its "Operation
Twist" expires at year-end.
* That cemented market expectations that the Fed will keep
buying the same amount of bonds, about $85 billion each month,
* San Francisco Fed President John Williams said late on
Wednesday the Federal Reserve likely will keep buying both
mortgage-backed securities and Treasuries until late 2013.