TOKYO, Nov 19 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasuries edged up in Asia on Friday, with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke defending the central bank’s massive bond buying programme.
* Bernanke, in comments prepared for delivery to a conference at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, defended the Fed’s $600 billion Treasury buying plan saying a vigorous U.S. recovery is central to global economic health. [ID:nWALIME6SR]
* A text of Bernanke’s remarks -- his first public statement since the Fed’s Nov. 3 decision to buy Treasuries through the middle of 2011 in order to spur growth -- was released ahead of his scheduled Friday appearance.
* The central bank’s massive debt buying scheme -- considered a second round of quantitative easing -- has come under criticism for the side-effects it could have on the economy. This has dampened bond market sentiment by raising uncertainty over the direction of the scheme.
* The benchmark 10-year Treasury note US10YT=RR gained 6/32 in price to yield 2.875 percent, down about 2.5 basis points from late U.S. trade on Thursday. Treasuries retreated on Thursday but the yield managed to hold below a 3-½ month peak near 2.970 percent hit earlier this week.
* The 30-year bond US30YT=RR climbed 9/32 in price to yield 4.263 percent, down about 2 basis points. (Reporting by Shinichi Saoshiro; Editing by Joseph Radford)
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