(Recasts, adds details, quote, updated prices)
By Karen Brettell
NEW YORK, Oct 4 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasuries prices ended lower on Thursday as traders focused on a highly anticipated jobs report on Friday, and after minutes from the Federal Reserve's September policy meeting showed that Fed members were broadly in agreement over the need for additional stimulus.
Bonds were little changed after the minutes showed that the central bank's third round of quantitative easing was seen as necessary to boost a meager economic recovery.
"I don't think there was anything surprising in there," said Charles Comiskey, head of Treasuries trading at Bank of Nova Scotia, in New York.
The benchmark 10-year note's
yield rose as high as 1.66 percent, but stayed within its recent range of 1.60 percent to 1.66 percent, where it has held for the last eight trading sessions.
The next main indicator for signs of the strength of the economic recovery will be Friday's jobs report, which is expected to show still sluggish growth.
Job creation is a prime focus for the Fed, which is focused on trying to bring down the stubbornly high unemployment rate.
The payroll data is expected to show that employers added 113,000 jobs in September, but the jobless rate is forecast to have ticked up to 8.2 percent for the month, from 8.1 percent in August, according to a Reuters poll of economists.
Some expectations that the jobs number could come in stronger than forecast helped send Treasuries prices broadly lower on Thursday, traders said.
"Some accounts believe the payrolls data will be better than the consensus forecast," said Tom di Galoma, managing director at Navigate Advisors LLC, in Stamford, Connecticut.
Expectations rose after a report from consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas showed planned job cuts announced for the month of September at a 15-year low.
"There is decent profit-taking on the Challenger survey," di Galoma said.
A successful Spanish bond auction also reduced demand for safe-haven U.S. debt, while hedging of corporate debt sales added to bond weakness.
"Spain played a part, and there also have been some corporate rate locks and, to a small extent, a concession starting to be built in ahead of next week's supply," said Justin Lederer, Treasury strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald in New York.
The Treasury will auction $66 billion in three-year notes, 10-year notes and 30-year bonds next week.
A strong showing by presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Wednesday night's debate was also seen boosting his electoral chances, which increased speculation that he would stop the Fed's open-ended bond purchases if he wins office.
"If Romney were to win the presidency, I think the bond market would go down," said Nova Scotia's Comiskey. "The idea of QE until the end of time, that would come to an end."
(Additional reporting by Ellen Freilich; Editing by Jan Paschal)
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((-------MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 2:55 p.m. EDT (1855 GMT)-------
Change vs Current Nyk yield Three-month bills 0.1 (+0.01) 0.101 Six-month bills 0.14 (+0.01) 0.142 Two-year note 100-01/32 (-01/32) 0.242 Five-year note 100-01/32 (-03/32) 0.622 10-year note 99-21/32 (-14/32) 1.663 30-year bond 97-13/32 (-1-07/32) 2.880 DOLLAR SWAP SPREADS LAST Change U.S. 2-year dollar swap spread 13.50 (unch) U.S. 3-year dollar swap spread 12.75 (unch) U.S. 5-year dollar swap spread 13.75 (+0.25) U.S. 10-year dollar swap spread 7.25 (+0.75)
U.S. 30-year dollar swap spread -20.50 (+0.50)))
Keywords: MARKETS USA BONDS/