JGB prices firm, BOJ offers to buy longer-dated bonds

Reuters

(Corrects the size of BOJ operations in third paragraph to 110 bln yen from 100 bln yen)

TOKYO, Jan 10 (IFR) - Japanese government bond prices rose modestly on Friday, with the superlong sectors outperforming, leading to a flattening of the yield curve.

Many domestic real money accounts took a wait-and-see approach in the morning session but they were expected to move, depending on the results of Friday's Bank of Japan bond-buying operations in the secondary market.

The BOJ offered to buy 200 billion yen ($1.9 billion) worth of JGBs maturing in more than 10 years and 110 billion yen maturing in one year, as part of its effort to revive the world's third-largest economy.

Traders said the Japanese central bank seemed to be willing to protect the superlong sectors from position squaring by short-term players ahead of a long weekend in Japan and the U.S. nonfarm payroll report due out later in the day.

The 30-year yield was down 1 basis point at 1.685 percent, hitting its lowest level since Dec. 25, while the 20-year yield dipped 0.5 basis point to 1.525 percent, the lowest since Dec. 24.

The 10-year yield was unchanged at 0.695 percent, while the 10-year JGB futures rose 7 ticks to 143.85.

The U.S. Labor Department is expected to report on Friday that nonfarm payrolls increased by 196,000 last month after gaining 203,000 in November, according to a Reuters poll of economists.

($1 = 104.7850 Japanese yen) (Reporting by Masatsugu Hisatsune; Editing by Dominic Lau & Kim Coghill)

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