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TREASURIES-Bonds extend winning streak on Spain jitters
September 26, 2012 / 4:26 PM / 5 years ago

TREASURIES-Bonds extend winning streak on Spain jitters

* Bonds set for longest winning run since 2008
    * Benchmark yields below 100-day moving average
    * U.S. Treasury to sell $35 billion in 5-year notes
    * U.S. new home sales unexpectedly dip in August


    By Richard Leong
    NEW YORK, Sept 26 (Reuters) - U.S. government debt prices
rose on Wednesday for an eighth straight session on worries
Spain's reluctance to ask for a full-blown bailout would prolong
Europe's debt crisis.
    The Treasuries market, as measured by the benchmark 10-year
note, was on track to match its longest winning streak since
late November to early December 2008, according to Reuters data.
    Longer-dated U.S. yields touched their lowest levels in more
than two weeks since they spiked earlier this month in reaction
to the Federal Reserve's announcement of a third large-scale
bond purchase program, nicknamed QE3.
    In the face of renewed appetite for U.S. federal debt, the
Treasury Department will sell $35 billion of new five-year
securities on Wednesday, part of this week's $99
billion in note supply.
    "Things are bumpy again in Europe. You are seeing more
tension there that's leading to a predictable rally on the long
end," said Eric Green, global head of rates and FX research and
strategy with TD Securities in New York.
    With Spain's borrowing costs rising again and a key region
threatening to secede, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy
hinted he was ready to request a rescue for the euro zone's
fourth-biggest economy. He told the Wall Street Journal on
W edn esday he would make the move if Spain's debt costs remained
too high for too long. 
    The yield on 10-year Spanish debt rose to 6
percent o n W ednesday, a threshold analysts consider
unsustainable. Spain's 10-year borrowing cost has been running
above 6 percent for much of the time since mid-May.
    In addition to growing jitters about Spain, Treasuries
prices propelled higher after U.S. government data showed an
unexpected dip in new home sales in August, reducing optimism
the housing recovery gained traction. 
    
    Benchmark 10-year notes were last up 9/32 in
price at 99-28/32 to yield 1.639 percent, just below the 100-day
moving average. The 10-year yield was 3 basis points lower from
late on Tuesday.
    The 10-year note yield has fallen about 25 basis points from
a four-month peak set on Sept. 14, the day after the Fed
announced it would purchase an additional $40 billion a month in
mortgage-backed securities in a bid to stimulate the economy.
    Increased MBS purchases from the Fed pushed home borrowing
costs to a record low. The Mortgage Bankers Association said the
average 30-year mortgage rate fell to 3.63 percent in the week
ended Sept. 21, the lowest since it began tracking it.
 
    The Fed and other major central banks enacted new monetary
measures this month, which flooded more cash into their banking
systems. Some of the money has ended up being used to buy stocks
and other risky assets.
    "The market is pleased with the liquidity provided by the
central banks, but it's skeptical about its impact on real
economic growth," said Gibson Smith, co-chief investment officer
of fixed income with Janus Capital Group in Denver.
    Nagging worries about the U.S. and Chinese economies and the
festering debt problem in Europe rekindled demand for
longer-dated Treasuries.
    The 30-year bond was last 26/32 higher in price
at 98-25/32, yielding 2.810 percent, down 4 basis points from
Tuesday's close.
    In "when-issued" trading, the new five-year note was
expected to sell at a yield of 0.6560 percent, below the high
yield of 0.708 percent at the five-year auction in August.

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