Japanese government bonds firm, 10-year yield hits 6-week low before Bank of Japan
* The 10-year cash bond yield fell as low as 0.725 percent , before stepping back to stand flat at 0.735 percent. The benchmark futures contract hit a six-week intraday high of 144.57 before ending morning trade virtually flat at 144.40.
* The BOJ is expected to sign a historic statement with the government to target 2 percent inflation and to announce fresh measures to help achieve that, including an increase in its asset purchase programme.
* A main focus for the bond market is whether the central bank cuts, or scraps, its 0.10 percent interest on excess reserves, which has served as a floor for all money market rates.
* Short- and medium-term note yields have slipped in recent sessions on speculation of such a cut in that interest rate. The five-year bond was at 0.15 percent, flat on the day but just a hair above its record low of 0.145 percent marked in June 2003.
* Medium-term notes would get a boost if the BOJ expanded the target of bond buying in its asset purchase scheme from the current target of bonds with up to three years to maturity, though market players see limited chance of the BOJ doing so.
* On the other hand, longer maturities such as the
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