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TREASURIES-Prices gain before two-day Fed meeting

* Fed meeting statement on Wednesday in focus

* Data shows boost in U.S. import prices

NEW YORK, Sept 19 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury prices gained slightly on Tuesday but yields held within a tight range as investors waited on the conclusion of the Federal Reserves two-day policy meeting for new indications on whether an additional interest rate hike is likely this year. The U.S. central bank is widely expected to announce on Wednesday that it will begin paring its bond holdings, with reductions likely to start in the coming months. Investors will also be watching for signals that the Fed will raise interest rates in December, in addition to any clarity on personnel changes as Fed Chair Janet Yellens term-end approaches and after the resignation of Vice Chair Stanley Fischer earlier this month. We will see what Yellen has to say at the press conference regarding the balance sheet, regarding rates, regarding Fischers resignation and her term, and see how the market takes it, said Justin Lederer, an interest rate strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald in New York.

Benchmark 10-year notes were last up 3/32 in

price to yield 2.22 percent, from 2.23 percent late on Monday. Treasury yields briefly rose on Tuesday after data showed that U.S. import prices recorded their biggest increase in seven months in August as the cost of petroleum surged and there were also signs of a pickup in underlying imported inflation.

Expectations that the Fed may raise rates in December have increased since data last Thursday showed that U.S. consumer prices accelerated in August. Interest rate futures traders are pricing in a 58-percent chance of a rate hike in that month, according to the CME Groups FedWatch Tool.

(Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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