NEW YORK, July 15 (Reuters) - The weekly number of investors who are bearish on longer-dated U.S. Treasuries led their bullish counterparts by the widest margin in a month, according to a J.P. Morgan survey released on Tuesday.
Hopes that Greece would clinch a third bailout to avert bankruptcy and remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen suggesting the possibility of an interest rate hike in September had caused investors to pare their holdings in longer-dated U.S. government debt last week.
Some investors moved money back into longer-dated bonds on Tuesday following a surprise 0.3 percent decline in retail sales in June which raised doubts about the strength of the U.S. economy in the second half of the year.
The share of “short” investors who said on Monday they were holding fewer longer-dated Treasuries than their benchmarks rose to 35 percent from 33 percent last week.
The share of “long” investors who said they were holding more longer-dated U.S. government debt than their portfolio benchmarks stood at 13 percent for a second week.
Net shorts on longer-dated Treasuries, or the difference between the shares of “short” and “long” investors, rose to 22 percent from 20 percent last week.
The increase in net shorts was still far below the 32 percent record set six weeks ago, which was the highest since May 5, 2006.
The level of “neutral” investors, who said they were holding longer-dated bonds equal to their benchmarks, fell to 52 percent from 54 percent a week ago.
In midmorning U.S. trading, the yield on benchmark 10-year Treasuries was 2.416 percent, down 1 basis point from Monday. (Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)