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Japan 10-Year Bond Yield Falls to 2003 Low on Easing Bets

Japanese government bonds rose, sending 10-year and 20-year yields to the lowest levels in almost a decade, after Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda signaled increased purchases of long-term debt.

The 30-year yield dropped to a 2 1/2-year low with its spread over 3-year notes narrowing to the least since August 2010. Kuroda told parliament he will consider all possible measures to influence the so-called yield curve, including extending bond maturities in asset purchase fund and scrapping a limit on the central bank’s JGB holdings. Leading bond futures climbed to a record.

“The chances that the BOJ will purchase bonds with maturities over 10 years are increasing,” said Atsushi Ito, chief JGB strategist at BNP Paribas SA. “Bonds on the longer end are being bought, flattening the yield curve after Governor Kuroda said he will consider various policy options.”

The yield on the benchmark 10-year note touched 0.525 percent, the lowest since June 2003 when it reached a record 0.43 percent, and was at 0.53 percent as of 11:05 a.m. in Tokyo, according to Japan Bond Trading Co., the nation’s largest interdealer debt broker. The price of the 0.6 percent security maturing in March 2023 rose 0.238 yen to 100.663.

Ten-year bond futures for June delivery climbed as much as 0.28 to 145.95, the highest on record. The 20-year rate fell 2 basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 1.42 percent, after earlier touching 1.41 percent, the least since July 2003. Yields on 30-year bonds slid half a basis point to 1.545 percent, a level unseen since August 2010.

Kuroda said in parliament today he envisages 2 years for achieving the BOJ’s 2 percent annual inflation target. The central bank, which next meets on April 3-4, currently buys government notes with maturities of up to three years through its 76 trillion-yen ($806 billion) program.

Consumer prices excluding fresh food probably declined 0.4 percent in February from a year earlier, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The statistics bureau releases data on March 29.

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