TREASURIES-Prices gain, Fed meeting next week in focus

Karen Brettell
Friday, 25 Oct 2013 | 9:01 AM ET

* Prices rise, Fed seen unlikely to taper before 2014

* Fed policymakers to meet next Tuesday, Wednesday

* Treasury to sell $96 bln in 2, 5, 7-yr debt next week

NEW YORK, Oct 25 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasuries prices edged up on Friday as investors waited on new signs about the strength of the economy, which is key to the timing of when the Federal Reserve is likely to reduce the size of its bond purchase program. Treasuries have been largely rangebound since Tuesday, when yields fell on data that showed employers hired fewer workers than expected in September, stoking fears the economy was slowing even before the government's 16-day shutdown. A backlog of releases are now scheduled as the government catches up on delayed data. The Fed is viewed as unlikely to change it purchase program from $85 billion a month when it holds its policy meeting next week, with most seeing the central bank likely to maintain the same rate of purchases until next March. "The market continues to do better here in an environment where the Fed is not tapering quantitative easing until sometime in 2014," said Gary Pollack, head of fixed income trading at Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management in New York. Benchmark 10-year notes were last up 2/32 in price to yield 2.51 percent. The yields have fallen from 3.00 percent on September 5, before the Fed surprised investors by leaving its bond purchase program unchanged. The effects of the government shutdown and wrangling over raising the debt ceiling are expected to linger for several months, muddying insight into the economy. "The economy looks a little disappointing and we're not going to get a clear picture of what the economy is doing until we get figures for the month of December, which come out in January," Pollack said. New orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods outside of transportation equipment fell in September in a possible sign companies were holding back investments due to uncertainty over government spending. The Treasury will sell $96 billion in new coupon-bearing supply next week, including $32 billion in two-year notes on Monday, $35 billion in five-year notes on Tuesday and $29 billion in seven-year notes on Wednesday.