November 22, 2018 / 6:43 AM / 5 months ago

JGBs little changed; liquidity-enhancing auction draws weak demand

TOKYO, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Japanese government bond (JGB) prices were little changed on Thursday, with investors short of strong incentives even as the benchmark Nikkei share average booked a modest gain.

A liquidity-enhancing auction attracted tepid investor demand.

The yield on benchmark 10-year cash JGBs edged 0.5 basis point higher to 0.095 percent, while the 20-year yield also climbed half a basis point to 0.61 percent.

Ten-year JGB futures dipped 0.02 point to 151.06, with a trading volume of 25,236 lots.

The finance ministry on Thursday offered to sell 600 billion yen ($5.31 billion) of off-the-run JGBs with remaining maturities of 5 years to 15.5 years. The ministry regularly conducts such sales in an attempt to provide the market with liquidity.

The auction bid-to-cover ratio, a gauge of demand, came in at 2.58, well below a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.93 from the previous auction.

Super-long JGBs firmed after U.S. Treasury yields fell overnight on data showing that new orders for U.S.-made capital goods were weaker than expected.

The 40-year JGB yield was 1.0 basis point down at 0.975 percent, after briefly hitting a 10-week low of 0.970 percent in afternoon trade.

$1 = 112.9900 yen Reporting by Tokyo Markets team

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