TREASURIES-Prices stable as clues on Fed's path, economy awaited
* 2nd-qtr GDP, Fed statement, refunding details on Wednesday
* Treasury refunding details might include selling fewer bonds
* Fed statement to be scrutinized for timing of tapering
* Key July jobs report due Friday
NEW YORK, July 30 (Reuters) - Prices for U.S. Treasuries were little changed on Tuesday as caution ruled the market a day ahead of a policy statement from the Federal Reserve that is expected to provide indications of when the Fed will begin to scroll back on its stimulus, as well as the release of data on the economy. In addition, the Treasury's quarterly refunding announcement on Wednesday is attracting unusually intense interest.
"We are definitely in a wait-and-see mode this week," said Wilmer Stith, co-manager of the Wilmington Broad Market Bond Fund in Baltimore. Markets are especially keen for clarity on when the Fed could slow or even end its $85 billion per month in purchases of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities, which is aimed at driving down long-term interest rates and lowering unemployment. Fed officials, including Chairman Ben Bernanke, have hinted recently at a pullback, remarks that have driven up yields since May. The statement on Wednesday at the close of the meeting of the Fed's policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee could hint at a slower buying pace to come. "We get the statement from the FOMC tomorrow and that will lay out - for at least 48 hours until we get the employment data on Friday - what the committee's ideas are with regard to tapering the Fed bond purchases," Stith added. The Fed's statement will come after the government's release Wednesday morning of the second-quarter gross domestic product report, but will come two days ahead of the Labor Department's report on the labor market for July. Also in view is the Treasury's quarterly refunding announcement on Wednesday. Some analysts expect the Treasury to cut coupon-bearing debt sales for the first time since September 2010 as a shrinking federal budget deficit reduces funding needs. Traders expect the first cuts in issuance to be in the shortest maturities. Less short-term debt should support prices and keep borrowing costs down for the federal government, whose deficit, while on track to shrink this year, remains elevated from its level before the 2007-2009 recession. People are most focused on "the size of the three-year note issuance and the Treasury's guidance for twos and fives throughout the quarter," said Thomas Simons, money market economist at Jefferies & Co in New York. Both the GDP data and the Treasury's quarterly refunding details will be released at 8:30 a.m. (1230 GMT) Wednesday . On Tuesday, the Conference Board's consumer confidence index, which showed consumers had an improved view of their current situation but less confidence in the outlook six months from now, gave slight support to Treasuries. S&P/Case-Shiller home price data released Tuesday had little market impact. Markets are also watching ADP's private-sector jobs report on Wednesday and the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index on Thursday. The benchmark 10-year Treasury note traded flat to yield 2.599 percent. As part of its ongoing stimulus, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said it purchased $1.464 billion in Treasury coupons with maturities ranging from February 15, 2036 to November 15, 2042.