* Month-end buying spurs price gains
* Traders eye quarter-end, non-farm payrolls
* Housing, Midwest business data have little impact
(Adds comments, updates prices)
By Sam Forgione
NEW YORK, June 30 U.S. Treasuries prices rose
modestly on Monday on month-end buying and reluctance to sell
ahead of quarter-end and U.S. jobs data on Thursday, putting
bond prices on track for gains in the first half of the year.
Analysts said traders avoided bets against bonds after
rising prices over the quarter took many by surprise.
"People are generally buckling down their books, being less
active, and waiting for the new quarter before taking on new
trades," said Jeffrey Young, interest rate strategist at Nomura
Securities in New York.
The benchmark Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index has risen
1.9 percent so far this quarter through last Friday, while the
Barclays U.S. Treasury index has gained 1.3 percent.
For the first half of the year, the Barclays U.S. Aggregate
has risen 3.82 percent, led by a rally in long-dated debt as
benchmark yields have fallen nearly 0.50 percentage point.
Treasuries due in 20 years or longer have earned a 12.67 percent
return in the first six months, putting them on track for their
strongest first-half performance in four years.
Long-dated investment-grade corporate bonds had a 10.45
percent return. Munis ranked third in total return, generating a
5.97 percent gain, according to Barclays.
On Monday, the National Association of Realtors said its
Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed last month,
increased 6.1 percent to 103.9 in May, the highest since
September of last year.
The data had little impact on Treasuries prices.
"It doesn't mean that it's going to be sustainable," said
Matthew Duch, portfolio manager at Calvert Investments in
Bethesda, Maryland. He said the data likely would not change
many economists' weak U.S. growth forecasts.
Traders shrugged off data showing the Institute for Supply
Management-Chicago business barometer fell to 62.6 in June from
65.5 in May. Economists looked for a reading of 63. The reading
measures the pace of business activity in the U.S. Midwest.
Economists expect Thursday's jobs report to show U.S.
employers added 212,000 jobs in June, down from 217,000 in May,
according to a Reuters poll.
Benchmark 10-year Treasuries notes traded 3/32
higher in price to yield 2.52 percent, from a yield of 2.53
percent late Friday. U.S. 30-year Treasuries bonds
last traded 9/32 higher in price for a yield of 3.347 percent,
versus 3.36 percent late Friday.
The Federal Reserve bought $1.03 billion of Treasuries
maturing August 2039- August 2043 on Monday as part of its
economic stimulus program, which had little impact on bond
(Reporting by Sam Forgione; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Dan