TOKYO, April 17 (IFR) - Japanese government bond prices were little changed on Thursday, reflecting the absence of catalysts with Tokyo equities held to a narrow range after the previous session's surge.
An auction of 1.2 trillion yen ($11.73 billion) 20-year government bonds was well received by the market, with the bid-to-cover ratio, a gauge of demand, rising to 3.99 from 3.69 at the previous sale last month.
Market players expect the Bank of Japan to buy significant amounts of 20-year paper at its regular debt purchasing operation on Friday, as part of its massive quantitative easing programme.
The benchmark 10-year JGB yield dipped 0.5 basis point to 0.600 percent. The paper, which has been loosely tracking the recent decline in U.S. Treasury yields, edged closer to a 10-month trough of 0.570 percent hit in early March.
The June 10-year JGB futures gained 0.05 point to 145.09.
Tokyo's Nikkei stock average slipped 0.3 percent after jumping 3 percent on Wednesday. ($1 = 102.2750 Japanese Yen)
(Reporting by Masatsugu Hisatsune; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)