Speculators pare bets on U.S. bonds after jobs data

NEW YORK, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Bond speculators pared their bullish bets on U.S. Treasuries futures early this week after September payroll data showed the jobless rate fell to its lowest since January 2009, according to Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on F rid ay.

The unexpected drop in unemployment last month spurred skepticism whether it was a statistical quirk or sustainable. Nonetheless, it pared expectations the Federal Reserve might pursue more bond purchases, which would boost the value of Treasuries futures.

The September payroll report sparked a sell-off in bonds in the cash and futures market last Friday, with benchmark yields touching a three-week high.

Early this week, speculative long positions in 10-year Treasury futures fell to 296,868 contracts on Oct 9, down 38,043 from a week earlier, according to CFTC's latest Commitments of Traders data.

Speculative short bets in 10-year Treasury futures rose 5,457, to 178,678 in the latest week.

The long positions in 10-year T-notes retreated from their highest level since early 2008, analysts said.

"Despite the correction, the market remains aggressively positioned in the 10-year space," Gennadiy Goldberg, an interest rate strategist at TD Securities, wrote in a research note.

Speculative bets on the Chicago Board of Trade's "ultra" bond contracts fell 6,460 to 36,374 contracts, while speculators shed their short positions on ultra bonds by 959, to 29,494, the latest CFTC data showed.

Bullish bets on five-year, T-note futures fell 1,315 contracts, to 307,322 on Tuesday, while bearish bets declined 7,800, to 166,608, the latest Commitments of Traders data showed.

Speculative long bets on two-year T-notes dropped 12,246 contracts to 302,317, while speculators raised their bearish bets by 6,183, to 220,381 contracts.

On the other hand, bullish bets that 30-year bond futures will rise increased by 11,334 contracts to 64,534 on Tuesday, while speculative bearish positions grew 5,542 to 65,362 contracts.

(Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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