JGBs rise as virus impact fuels equities sell-off

TOKYO, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Japanese government bond (JGB) prices gained broadly on Tuesday, as a slide in equities increased the appeal of the safe-haven debt after Apple Inc warned on quarterly revenue due to the coronavirus epidemic in China.

Local stocks fell to two-week lows on Tuesday, dragged down by tech companies as Apple said iPhone production and demand in China slowed due to the virus outbreak.

Benchmark 10-year JGB futures rose 0.21 point to 152.79 in mid-afternoon trade. The yield on the benchmark 10-year cash JGBs dropped 2 basis points (bps) to minus 0.060%.

The five-year yield fell 1.5 basis points to minus 0.150%, while the two-year JGB yield dropped half a basis point to minus 0.150%.

The super-long zone followed suit, with the 20-year yield declining 2 basis points to 0.220% and the 30-year yield losing 2.5 bps to 0.345%.

Tuesday’s 1.9 trillion yen ($17.3 billion) 5-year JGB auction drew healthy investor interest. The auction bid-to-cover ratio, a gauge of demand, was 4.49, slightly higher than 4.48 at the previous sale last month. ($1 = 109.7200 yen) (Reporting by Tokyo Markets Team; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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