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JGBs trade slightly higher despite better-than-expected February trade balance data; Fed in focus

The Japanese government bonds remained slightly higher at the close of Asian session of the first trading day of the week even as the country’s trade balance for the month of February registered better-than-expected results.

Also, investors will keep a close eye on the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting, scheduled for later in the week for further direction in the debt market.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year JGB note, which moves inversely to its price, slumped 4 basis points to -0.036 percent, the yield on the long-term 30-year remained tad lower at 0.576 percent and the yield on short-term 2-year too edged slightly down to -0.157 percent by 06:50GMT.

According to a report from Nikkei Asian Review, Japan’s goods trade balance returned to the black zone during the month of February, but exports continued to be weak amid sluggish demand from China, government data showed Monday.   

The surplus of JPY339.0 billion ($3 billion) followed four consecutive months of deficit, according to a preliminary report by the Finance Ministry. Exports fell for the third straight month, slipping 1.2 percent to JPY6.38 trillion. Imports declined 6.7 percent to 6.05 JPYtrillion, sliding for the second month in a row as global oil prices fell.   

Meanwhile, the Nikkei 225 index closed 0.57 percent higher at 21,573.00, while at 06:00GMT, the FxWirePro's Hourly JPY Strength Index remained highly bearish at -131.43 (a reading above +75 indicates a bullish trend, while that below -75 a bearish trend). For more details, visit http://www.fxwirepro.com/currencyindex

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