(Updates with closing prices, BOJ decision)
TOKYO, March 16 (Reuters) - Japanese government bonds firmed on Thursday after the Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady, with JGBs tracking gains in U.S. Treasuries when the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates as expected but did not signal any changes to its outlook.
The 10-year JGB futures contract rose to its session high of 150.20 after the BOJ decision, and ended up 0.26 points at 150.17.
The BOJ maintained its short-term interest rate target of minus 0.1 and its pledge to guide the 10-year government bond yield at around zero percent. It also kept intact a loose pledge to maintain the pace of its annual increase in JGB holdings at 80 trillion yen ($706 billion).
The benchmark 10-year JGB yield fell 1.5 basis point (bp) to 0.075 percent.
In the superlong zone, the yield on 20-year JGBs fell 2 bps to 0.645 percent, while the 30-year JGB yield shed 2.5 bps to 0.835 percent.
On Wednesday, U.S. two- and three-year yields fell from multi-year highs after the Fed delivered its second interest rate hike in three months, and said further rate increases would only be “gradual,” with officials sticking to their outlook for two more rate hikes this year and three more in 2018.
“The Fed’s outlook was more dovish that some had anticipated,” said Tadashi Matsukawa, head of fixed income investment in Tokyo at PineBridge Investments.
BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will hold a post-meeting briefing at 0630 GMT. (Reporting by Tokyo markets team; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)