* Prices slip, Fed minutes next Wednesday in focus
* Volumes light on U.S. storm, Japan closed for holiday
* Bernanke among Fed speaks to speak on Friday
By Karen Brettell
NEW YORK, Jan 3
U.S. Treasuries prices fell on Friday, sending benchmark 10-year
yields back over 3 percent, with no major economic releases due
and investors cautious heading into a busy week, including the
release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve's December
Volumes were light on Friday also as a winter storm kept
many traders on the U.S. east coast away from their desks, and
after the Japanese market was closed.
The Fed's meeting minutes will be closely watched on
Wednesday for signs over how far the Fed may further pare back
its bond purchases, after it said last month it would cut the
mortgage-backed securities and Treasuries purchases by $10
billion to $75 billion a month.
The meeting minutes, new corporate supply and traders
adjusting to the Fed's smaller purchase schedule when it begins
purchases again next week are likely to keep investors on the
sidelines on Friday, said Jim Vogel, an interest rate strategist
at FTN Financial in Memphis, Tennessee.
"There's no need to rush in right now," he said.
Benchmark 10-year notes were last down 4/32 in
price to yield 3.007 percent, up from 2.985 percent late on
Thursday. They yields have fallen from a two-and-a-half-year
high of 3.04 percent on Thursday.
The Fed will buy $40 billion in Treasuries in January, down
from $45 billion in December. The first purchase will be between
$1 billion and $1.50 billion in bonds due 2036 and 2043 on
The Treasury will also sell $64 billion next week in new 3-,
10- and 30-year bonds.
A number of Federal Reserve speakers are scheduled to speak
later on Friday, including Federal Reserve Chairman Ben
Bernanke, Fed Board Governor Jeremy Stein and Philadelphia Fed
President Charles Plosser.