January 23, 2013 / 2:35 AM / 5 years ago

TREASURIES-Bonds steady in Asia, capped by debt ceiling hopes

TOKYO, Jan 23 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasuries steadied in Asia on Wednesday after a small rise the previous session, with further advance blocked by hopes Washington policymakers will give a green light to a measure to extend the U.S. debt limit for nearly four months.

* Treasuries rose slightly on Tuesday on a lower-than-expected reading in the headline U.S. existing home sales, although the data showed no sign of change in an underlying recovery trend in the housing market.

* The National Association of Realtors said on Tuesday that U.S. existing home sales dropped 1.0 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.94 million units, below the median forecast of a 5.1 million-unit rate in a Reuters poll.

* With U.S. shares hitting a five-year high on cautious optimism that the U.S. economy is on the mend, investors were reluctant to bid up Treasuries further.

* Treasuries were also capped as Washington moved closer to “suspend” the debt ceiling, allaying concerns the U.S. government could misses payment in the near future, thus causing a major disruption in the economy.

* A bill put forward by Republicans on temporarily extending the U.S. debt-limit is due to come to a vote in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives on Wednesday.

* The debt ceiling is by no means the only issue Washington needs to tackle, with other fiscal deadlines looming, including a March 1 launch of automatic spending cuts and a March 27 expiration of funding for government agencies and programs.

* Concerns about possible automatic spending cuts should continue to provide some support to U.S. Treasuries in coming weeks, analysts said.

* The 10-year notes traded at a yield of 1.847 percent , little changed from late U.S. levels.

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