January 24, 2013 / 5:41 AM / 5 years ago

TREASURIES-Bonds firm in Asia, underpinned by U.S. growth worries

TOKYO, Jan 24 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasuries were firm in Asia on Thursday, helped by worries that the U.S. economic growth may remain tepid and by uncertainty over whether U.S. policymakers will take steps to ease automatic spending cuts.

* The yield on 10-year notes stood flat at 1.824 percent , not far from its low so far this year of 1.803 percent.

* “The latest manufacturing data has been showing some sign of weakness. There also remains uncertainty on the fiscal policy,” said Shinichiro Kadota, strategist at Barclays.

* Economists expect only a modest U.S. recovery, likely allowing the Federal Reserve to keep buying bonds, thus underpinning Treasuries.

* Economist polled by Reuters see the U.S. economy growing 1.5 percent in the three months to March and 2.0 percent in the following quarter.

* Barclays’ Kadota also said there are chances U.S. policy makers may fail to agree on additional steps to ease automatic spending cuts, which were temporarily delayed to March 1 in a fiscal deal between the White House and Congress earlier this month.

* A top Republican leader John Boehner warned on Wednesday the automatic budget cuts will go into effect unless Obama makes concessions.

* His comments came just after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a Republican plan to allow the federal government to keep borrowing money through mid-May, clearing it for fast enactment after the top Senate Democrat and White House endorsed it.

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