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TOKYO, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Longer-dated U.S. Treasury yields retreated from five-month highs on Wednesday after reports U.S. President Donald Trump led Democrat challenger Joe Biden in the crucial state of Florida, suggesting a closer election than first thought.
The benchmark 10-year yield initially jumped to a five-month high of 0.9450% at the beginning of Asian trading but then fell to 0.8553% as early results from the U.S. election came in.
That pushed treasury futures prices off a five-month low, up 10-1/2 ticks to 138-13.
Trump was narrowly leading Biden in the vital battleground state of Florida late on Tuesday, while other competitive swing states remained up in the air.
“Some short-term players are unwinding positions based the early results,” said Ayako Sera, market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.
“Over the long-term, yields will rise regardless of who wins, but right now the short-term players are dominating the market.”
Since mid-October, U.S. long-term yields have risen rapidly as Biden’s lead over Trump in opinion polls encouraged some investors to price in the chance of big fiscal spending in the case of a Democrat victory.
However, Trump’s early lead in hotly-contested Florida caused an unwinding of some bets on Biden in the bond market, analysts said.
A closely watched part of the U.S. Treasury yield curve measuring the gap between yields on two- and 10-year Treasury notes narrowed to 67.2 basis points in Asia on Wednesday. That could suggest investors expect less fiscal spending as the Trump’s prospects for a second term improve slightly.
A Republican government likely to spend less money on stimulus than a Democratic administration, which is a factor that pushed down longer-dated Treasury yields, analysts said.
Speculators’ net bearish bets on U.S. 30-year Treasury bond futures rose in the latest week to a record high, according to Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday, highlighting strong expectations in the run-up to the election for a spike in yields.
Other analysts say that regardless of who wins the election, stimulus spending is necessary to prevent a rapid increase in coronavirus infections from wrecking economic growth.
Recently, new infections have touched record levels in the United States, and some analysts worry that a resumption of restrictions on business activity to contain the virus will harm the economy.
The two-year U.S. Treasury yield, which typically moves in step with interest rate expectations, fell slightly to 0.1585%. (Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Sam Holmes)
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