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US 10-year notes supported by fears of slowing growth

treasury-bondTOKYO: US Treasuries were steady in Asian trading on Wednesday, as continued fears of slowing global growth kept demand for fixed-income assets firm.


Yields on ten-year Treasuries slipped in Asia to 1.714 percent from 1.715 percent in late US trade on Tuesday.


The 10-year yield had hit a peak around 1.74 percent on Friday, the highest level in about two weeks, after better-then-expected US employment data.


Yields on 30-year Treasuries were steady from late US trade at 2.930 percent.


"The jobs data last week was good, and some recent US indicators have shown signs of strength, but there are many other factors," said Ayako Sera, senior market economist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank in Tokyo.


"The US presidential election coming in a few weeks, and then after that there is the 'fiscal cliff' issue," she said, referring to expiring tax cuts and public outlay reductions that will take effect early next year unless Congress can agree to delay or scrap them.


"It is hard to see rates rising much," she added.


Federal Reserve Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen emphasized in a speech in Tokyo that the central bank remains committed to its easy policy.


"Low short-term interest rates are essential to stimulate recovery in the US economy and bringing down unemployment. We do have weakness in the US economy and expectations that this will continue for some time, which justifies the Fed's asset purchases and is a factor that keeps long-term interest rates low," Yellen said at an event sponsored by the International Monetary Fund and the Japanese Ministry of Finance.


On the supply side, the Treasury Department will sell $21 billion in 10-year debt later on Wednesday, followed by $13 billion in 30-year bonds on Thursday.


On Tuesday, it sold $32 billion in three-year notes at a high yield of 0.346 percent.


Also on Tuesday, the Federal Reserve bought $1.89 billion in Treasuries due in February 2036 to August 2042, as part of its Operation Twist stimulus program under which it sells shorter-dated Treasuries and buys longer-dated issues in a bid to lower long-term rates.


Copyright Reuters, 2012


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