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TREASURIES-Bonds firm on European jitters after Italy vote
February 26, 2013 / 6:35 AM / 5 years ago

TREASURIES-Bonds firm on European jitters after Italy vote

TOKYO, Feb 26 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasuries firmed in Asian trading on Tuesday, with the benchmark yield dropping to its lowest level in a month as political uncertainty following an Italian election rekindled fears about the euro zone’s debt crisis and whetted investors’ appetite for safe-haven debt.

* Italy’s centre left won the lower house as widely expected, but projections by Italian media indicate no party or coalition will be able to form a majority in the upper house, or Senate.

* “Everyone thought that the worst was over in Europe, but maybe there are still problems yet to come in Italy,” said a fixed-income fund manager at a Japanese asset management firm.

“We will be waiting for Bernanke later today for more direction on U.S. monetary policy,” he added.

* Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will testify before the Senate Banking Committee later in the session, and then address the Housing Financial Services Committee on Wednesday.

Investors will be looking for signals that the U.S. central bank will continue buying assets to support the economy.

* U.S. debt prices continued to be underpinned by concerns about the impact of automatic U.S. government spending cuts set to begin on Friday. Economists said these cuts worth $85 billion would hurt the economy.

* The yield on 10-year Treasuries slipped to 1.851 percent in Asian trade on Tuesday, their lowest in a month, from 1.862 percent in late U.S. trade on Monday, when they marked their biggest one-day drop since November.

* The yield on 30-year Treasuries fell to 3.046 percent, from 3.060 percent on Monday.

* On the supply side, the Treasury will auction $35 billion in five-year notes on Tuesday and $29 billion in seven-year notes on Wednesday. It sold $35 billion in two-year notes on Monday. All the auctions settle on Thursday, the last day of the month.

The Federal Reserve bought $3.31 billion in debt due 2020 to 2023 on Monday as part of its ongoing bond purchase programme aimed at holding down long-term borrowing rates and reducing unemployment.

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