TOKYO, April 17 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasuries were little changed in Asia on Tuesday, their yields inching down slightly, ahead of Spain’s sale of 12- and 18-month Treasury bills later in the session which will give more clues to investor confidence in that country’s ability to finance its debt.
* The bill auctions come ahead of offerings of two- and 10-year bonds on Thursday, and in the wake of a surge in the Spanish 10-year government bond yield to levels above 6 percent on Monday.
* “There isn’t much movement in Asian time, because no one wants to be short ahead of the Spanish debt sales,” said a fund manager at a Japanese asset management firm.
“Spain is in focus, and that won’t change soon. Its problems aren’t the kind that can be solved overnight,” he added.
* The yield on the 10-year notes eased slightly to 1.97 percent from 1.99 percent in late U.S. trade, and matching its level in Asian trade on Monday.
* The 30-year bond yield edged down to 3.12 percent, from 3.13 percent in late U.S. trading. It was at 3.13 percent in Asia on Monday.
* On the U.S. data front, retail sales rose a greater-than-expected 0.8 percent in March, suggesting the economy’s growth in the first quarter did not slow as much as many had feared.
* The data provided more evidence that the economic recovery is progressing, and did not change expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will refrain from taking any new policy steps at its next meeting on April 24-25.