November 19, 2012 / 5:40 AM / 5 years ago

TREASURIES-Prices drop in Asian trading, pulling yields off lows

TOKYO, Nov 19 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasuries fell in Asia trading on Monday, pulling benchmark yields off a two-month low hit last week, on hopes that this week will bring some progress in the U.S. fiscal crisis as well as the release of more funding for Greece.

* Leading U.S. lawmakers expressed confidence on Sunday that they could reach a deal to avert the $600 billion “fiscal cliff” of tax hikes and spending cuts even as they stuck to their positions.

* Euro zone governments and the International Monetary Fund are making headway in settling a dispute over how to make Greece’s debt manageable, Eurogroup President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Saturday. The impasse is holding up funding needed to keep the debt-burdened country afloat.

* MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.7 percent.

* “Right now, it’s a risk-on mood, and stocks are gaining on hopes of progress for the U.S. and Europe, and this is weighing on bonds,” said a fixed-income fund manager at a Japanese asset management firm.

“But with Treasury yields at such low levels recently, a correction is not surprising,” he added.

* Yields on 10-year Treasuries rose to 1.601 percent on Monday in Asian trade from 1.581 percent in late U.S. trade on Friday, when they fell to a more than two-month low of 1.556 percent.

* Yields on 30-year Treasuries rose to 2.750 percent from 2.731 percent.

* Continued Middle East tensions limited bonds’ losses, as hostilities between Islamist militants and Israel entered a sixth day on Monday.

* Friday’s U.S. data also underpinned bond prices, with U.S. industrial output unexpectedly falling 0.4 percent last month.

* Later this week, the U.S. bond market will close on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday and then close early at 2 p.m. (1900 GMT) on Friday.

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