* Traders anticipate upbeat U.S. data
* Traders discount separatist conflict in Ukraine
* Market awaits $96 bln in Treasury supply
By Sam Forgione
NEW YORK, April 21 U.S. Treasuries yields were
little changed on Monday after traders digested recent strong
economic data and focused on last week's efforts to settle
unrest in Ukraine.
While conflict in Ukraine lingered on Monday, traders
concentrated on last Thursday's upbeat U.S. economic data
showing jobless claims remained low and factory activity was
better than expected, and a significant international agreement
to lower tension in Ukraine.
"Finally, we're at a point where it looks like the surprises
are to the upside," said Aaron Kohli, an interest rate
strategist at BNP Paribas in New York, about the recent U.S.
Traders anticipated figures this week on U.S. durable goods
orders, new and existing home sales, weekly jobless claims and
consumer sentiment could come in positive, which would support
the view that U.S. economic activity has improved after a
brutally cold winter.
Those expectations limited safe-haven bids for U.S.
Treasuries. Traders also discounted signs of continued strain in
Ukraine and focused on a joint statement from Russia, Ukraine,
the European Union and the United States last Thursday to ease
tensions in the region.
On Monday, Pro-Moscow separatist gunmen showed no sign of
surrendering government buildings they have seized. Washington
says it will hold Moscow responsible and impose new economic
sanctions if the separatists do not clear out of government
buildings they have occupied across swathes of eastern Ukraine
over the past two weeks.
The Russian government's stance and joint efforts to ease
tensions last week in Ukraine have had a greater impact on
trading than the continued separatist conflict on Monday, said
Guy LeBas, chief fixed income strategist at Janney Montgomery
Scott LLC in Philadelphia.
Traders also awaited $96 billion in new coupon-bearing
supply this week. The U.S. government will sell $32 billion in
two-year notes on Tuesday, $35 billion in five-year notes on
Wednesday and $29 billion in seven-year notes on Thursday.
Benchmark 10-year notes were last up 3/32 in
price to yield 2.7 percent, from 2.71 percent late Thursday. The
yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was last at 3.49
percent, down slightly from 3.51 percent late Thursday.
(Reporting by Sam Forgione; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)