TOKYO Feb 20 U.S. Treasuries held steady in
Asian trading on Wednesday, as investors awaited the release
later in the session of the minutes of the Federal Reserve's
January policy meeting for clues to its future bond-buying
* At its January meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee
left in place the central bank's monthly $85 billion bond-buying
stimulus plan, saying it needed to support employment conditions
even as it indicated a recent stall in U.S. economic growth was
* "We are not seeing big moves today, because it's difficult
to move ahead of the FOMC minutes," said Hiroki Shimazu, an
economist at SMBC Nikko Securities in Tokyo.
"Markets will be watching for any information on the pace of
purchasing Treasuries," he said.
* The Fed will likely need to keep buying bonds until the
end of this year given the still-feeble state of the U.S. labor
market, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart told Reuters in an
interview on Tuesday.
Economists are split over whether the central bank will stop
buying bonds this year.
* Yields on 10-year Treasuries edged slightly
down to 2.029 percent in Asian trade on Wednesday, from 2.030
percent in late U.S. trade on Tuesday.
* Yields on 30-year Treasuries inched slightly
up to 3.213 percent, from 3.211 percent on Tuesday.
* Undermining demand for safe-haven debt, Asian shares rose
to their highest since August 2011 on Wednesday on an improving
global economic outlook.
* But bonds were supported amid concerns that the U.S.
economic recovery could be threatened by government spending
cuts of about $85 billion that could take effect on March 1 if
lawmakers fail to reach a deal on averting them.
* On the supply side, the Fed purchased $1.45 billion of
U.S. government debt on Tuesday, maturing February 2036 through
February 2043. It will buy longer-dated debt in three more
operations through the rest of the week.