* "Long" Treasuries investors rise modestly in latest week
* Share of "short" investors falls from 20-month high
NEW YORK Feb 20 Investors added to their stakes
in U.S. Treasuries on rising worries about possible deep federal
spending cuts, which would hurt economic growth and the stock
market, a private survey released on Wednesday showed.
The increase in ownership of U.S. government debt was modest
on the week, curbed by mildly encouraging economic data and
speculation on how soon the Federal Reserve might stop its bond
purchases to support the economic recovery.
In the latest survey from J.P. Morgan Securities, 13 percent
of its Treasuries clients said on Tuesday they were "long" U.S.
government debt or owning more Treasuries than their benchmarks
This was up from 11 percent the previous week and matching
the level seen two weeks ago.
On Wednesday, the yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes
stood at 2.03 percent, little changed versus
Tuesday's close. The 10-year note yield has been hovering near 2
percent for the past three weeks, while Wall Street stocks have
been clinging near five-year highs.
While the increase in Treasuries suggested some safe-haven
demand for bonds, there were still plenty of investors who were
concerned about rising interest rates and bond yields when the
Fed stops bonds purchases and/or the economy gathers momentum.
In the latest survey, 28 percent of investors said they were
"short" Treasuries, or owning fewer Treasuries than their
This was lower than last week's 30 percent, which was the
highest level of "shorts" since June 13, 2011, J.P. Morgan said.
The share of investors surveyed who said they were "neutral"
on U.S. government debt, or holding Treasuries equal to their
portfolio benchmarks, was unchanged from last week at 59
Within the survey, 62 percent of active clients, including
market makers and hedge funds, who are viewed as taking on
speculative bets in Treasuries, expected Treasury yields to rise
in the latest week.
The compared with 46 percent the previous week.
The share of active longs held steady at 8 percent for a
third straight week, while the share of neutrals among active
clients fell to 30 percent from 46 percent last week.