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Australian bonds fairly mixed on first trading day of 2018; FOMC Dec minutes in focus this week

Australian government bonds traded fairly mixed on the first trading day of 2018 as investors remain sidelined in any major trading activity amid a silent session that witnessed no data of major economic significance.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to its price, fell 1 basis point to 2.662 percent, the yield on the long-term 30-year note dipped 1 basis point to 3.367 percent and the yield on short-term 2-year rose 1 basis point to 2.000 percent by 03:30 GMT.

The Australian manufacturing sector is experiencing "marked expansion", driven in part by new business from Asia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, a survey shows. New orders placed with Australian manufacturers increased sharply during December, reaching the quickest pace in 13 months. The Commonwealth Bank Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 57.1 in December, from 56.3 in November, the highest reading in a year.

Also, China December manufacturing PMI slipped to 51.6, in line with consensus estimates, compared to 51.8 in November. Further, non-manufacturing rose to 55.0 (expectation was for 54.7), from prior 54.8.

The United States Treasuries saw modest gains across the curve on Friday during a relatively quiet end of year session light on data of any great significance. Markets now look ahead to what stands to be a significantly more robust holiday-shortened week ahead, highlighted by minutes from the 12-13 December FOMC meeting on Wednesday and the December employment report on Friday.

Meanwhile, the S&P/ASX 200 index traded 0.35 percent lower at 5,996.5 by 03:30 GMT, while at 03:00GMT, the FxWirePro's Hourly AUD Strength Index remained highly bullish at 115.59 (a reading above +75 indicates a bullish trend, while that below -75 a bearish trend). For more details, visit http://www.fxwirepro.com/currencyindex

FxWirePro launches Absolute Return Managed Program. For more details, visit http://www.fxwirepro.com/invest

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