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December 12, 2006

Japan five-year bond sale success

Permalink: Japan five-year bond sale success
by Elaine Frei

The US Federal Reserve held interest rates at 5.25 percent on Tuesday, as expected. The statement that accompanied the decision said that economic growth in the United States is expected to moderate, citing a substantial cooling of the housing market, but that some risk of inflation remains.

Before the interest rate announcement came, prices on US Treasury bonds were slightly higher on the news that the US trade deficit had been substantially reduced in October, a possible indication that fourth-quarter economic growth could turn out to be stronger than predicted. At midday in New York, two-year Treasury bond yields were at 4.658 percent, a drop of 1.3 basis points, while ten-year bonds were 0.6 basis points lower to 4.516 percent.

In the UK, gilts prices were lower and yields higher after new data showed that consumer prices in November were up 0.3 percent and that they had risen 2.7 percent so far this year, providing a surprise gain in UK inflation. Two-year gilts added 4 basis points to 5.042 percent, while ten-year gilts were 1.6 basis points higher to 4.612 percent.

Yields on Eurozone bonds were mixed. The ZEW index of German sentiment was at -19 in December, up from November’s reading of -28.5 and better than the predicted -25. The new figures prompted only a small sell-off as investors waited for the US interest rate decision. The two-year Schatz was up 0.3 basis points to 3.740 percent, while the ten-year bund dropped 0.8 basis points to 3.731.

In Japan, a sale of ¥2,000 billion in five-year government bonds was a success, with demand at nearly three times the supply. Five-year yields were down by 2.5 basis points to 1.215 percent, while two-year bonds were 2 basis points lower to 0.815 percent.



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