NEW YORK, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Investors were more optimisticon the outlook for U.S. Treasury debt prices in the latest weekas worries over the outcome of Europe's debt crisis supportedsafe-haven buying of U.S. government debt, a survey released onWednesday showed.
The share of investors who said on Tuesday they were "long"on Treasuries, or holding more federal debt than their portfoliobenchmarks, rose to 21 percent from 17 percent the prior week,J.P. Morgan Securities said on Wednesday in its weekly Treasuryclient survey.
Worries over contagion from Europe's credit crisis, alongwith concern over the sluggish pace of U.S. and global growth,appeared to be moving investors from neutral into longpositions.
The share of investors who said they were "neutral" U.S.government debt, or holding Treasuries equal to their portfoliobenchmarks, dipped to 64 percent from 68 percent last week.
The share of investors who were "short", or holding fewerTreasuries than their benchmarks, was unchanged on the week at15 percent, according to the latest J.P. Morgan survey.
Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes on Wednesdaywere trading with a yield of 1.75 percent, not far off therecord low of 1.38 percent touched on July 25.
IMF STOKES CONCERNS
The concern over European debt problems was stoked this weekby an outlook from the International Monetary Fund, whichdowngraded its expectations for global economic growth and saidthe euro area is likely to contract this year. It also calledthe euro zone debt crisis the biggest risk to the world'sfinancial health.
In the latest J.P. Morgan survey, active clients includingmarket makers and hedge funds, who are viewed as taking onspeculative bets in Treasuries, increased their long positionsto 23 percent from 15 percent the previous week.
The share of these investors who said they were shortTreasuries rose to 31 percent from 23 percent the previous week.
The percentage of active traders who were neutral fell to 46percent from 62 percent last week.
(Reporting by Chris Reese; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)
Keywords: TREASURIES JPMORGAN/