TREASURIES-Portugal fiscal concerns lift U.S. bond prices

* Rejection of austerity measures in Portugal stokes safety bids

* Traders keep watch on developements in Libya, Yemen, Japan

* U.S. sets to hold $11 bln 10-year TIPS reopening

* Durable goods, jobless claims data on tap

By Richard Leong

HONG KONG, March 24 (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury prices rose on Thursday as
concerns over Portugal’s fiscal predicament eroded investor confidence, stoking
safety bids for bonds ahead of a $11 billion auction of inflation-protected
securities.

* Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates resigned as expected on Wednesday
after the parliament rejected his government’s proposed budget cuts in an
attempt to avoid a bailout. This development raised worries of further weakening
of the euro zone economically and undermines its single currency . For the
latest, see

* Western air strikes in Libya and unrest in Yemen, together with the
ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan, have kept investors on edge.

* “It’s a time when everything is geopolitical,” a Singapore-based
Treasuries trader at a U.S. primary dealer said. While the mood is grim, “we
need another series of really bad news from any or all of these countries for us
to go back to the lows in yields we saw last week,” he said.

* Most Asian stocks showed resilience, limiting the overnight gains in
Treasuries. The MSCI Asia-Pacific ex-Japan index was up 0.63
percent, while Japanese stocks were down 0.2 percent. As for U.S.
shares, S&P e-mini futures were off 0.1 percent.

* June 10-year T-note futures were up 4/32 at 120-3/32 from
Wednesday’s close on light volume. Technical signals suggest they could retest
the intraday high of 120-23/32 on Monday.

* Benchmark 10-year cash Treasury notes were up 6/32 in price to yield 3.33
percent, down from 3.35 percent late on Wednesday. The 10-year yield has bounced
in a tight 10-basis-point range this week after falling to three-month low of
3.14 percent last week.

* On the data front, the U.S. government is scheduled to release reports on
durable goods and jobless claims. They are expected to provide a more
encouraging view on the U.S. economy, a day after a report that showed a
stunning 16.9 percent drop in new home sales in February. See

* “We suspect that the market could have trouble finding direction amid the
mix of firmer data and continuing global worries,” Gennadiy Goldberg, fixed
income analyst at 4Cast Inc. wrote in a research note.

* In addition to U.S. data, the government will look to raise $11 billion
from a reopening of a prior 10-year TIPS issue at 1 p.m. EDT
(1700 GMT). Analysts expect decent demand for the latest TIPS supply in the wake
of recent data that showed growing inflationary pressure from the surge in oil
and food prices this year.

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(Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

TREASURIES-Portugal fiscal concerns lift U.S. bond prices