TOKYO, March 1 (Reuters) - Treasuries inched down in Asia on Thursday, continuing their downtrend in the wake of comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that gave investors no reason to expect more easing ahead.
* Bernanke offered a cautious view of the U.S. economy, but stopped short of signalling further Fed bond purchases.
* “The Fed is committed to keep rates low, which is keeping a floor under bonds, but at the same, Bernanke didn’t give anyone reason to believe more stimulus is on the way,” said a fund manager at a Japanese trust bank.
* The yield on the 10-year note rose to 1.98 percent from 1.97 percent in late U.S. trade and 1.94 percent in Asia on Wednesday. The benchmark yield remained around the middle of the range between 1.79 percent and 2.17 percent in which it has been stuck since early November.
* The yield on 30-year Treasuries rose to 3.09 percent from 3.08 percent in U.S. trade and 3.07 percent in Asia on Wednesday.
* Underpinning bonds in Asian business, a private-sector survey of purchasing managers showed on Thursday that China’s factory output edged up in February, though overall activity contracted.
New export orders fell to eight-month lows, suggesting Beijing will keep its pro-growth policies.
* Later on Thursday, the nationwide Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index could show more U.S. economic improvement in February.
The median forecast of economists recently polled by Reuters was 54.5, up from 54.1 in January.
Goldman Sachs on Wednesday raised its forecast to 55.0 from 54.0 after data showed surprisingly strong business growth in the U.S. Midwest in February.
* The ISM-Chicago’s regional business index rose to a higher-than-expected 64.0 in February, the highest since March 2011.
* Separate data showed U.S. gross domestic product expanded at an annual rate of 3 percent, revised up from 2.8 percent to the quickest pace since the second quarter of 2010.
* The European Central Bank’s second offering of cheap three-year funds on Wednesday saw banks taking up a greater-than-expected 530 billion euros, which analysts said would help ease credit conditions. (Reporting by Lisa Twaronite; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)