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Investors pare bullish U.S. bond bets before Fed meeting -JPM

NEW YORK, March 14 Investors scaled back their bullish bets on longer-dated U.S. Treasuries ahead of the Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting where policymakers are widely expected to raise interest rates, J.P. Morgan said on Tuesday.

The share of "long" investors, who said they were holding more longer-dated Treasuries than their benchmarks, fell to 18 percent in the week to March 13 from 20 percent in the prior week, J.P. Morgan showed in its latest Treasury client survey.

J.P. Morgan surveyed clients that include bond fund managers, central banks and sovereign wealth funds.

The share of "short" investors who said they were holding less longer-dated U.S. government debt than their portfolio benchmarks rose to 23 percent from 18 percent the previous week.

Short investors outnumbered long investors, or net shorts, again after long investors outnumbered short investors last week for the first time since Oct. 24, 2016.

There were 5 percentage points of net shorts, compared with net longs of 2 percentage points in the prior week.

The share of "neutral" investors, who said on Monday they were holding amounts of longer-dated Treasuries that match their benchmarks, was 59 percent, down from 62 percent the preceding week, the survey showed.

Active clients that include market makers and hedge funds, which are seen to take on speculative bets in Treasuries, dialed back their bullish bets, the latest J.P. Morgan survey showed.

Thirty percent of them said they were long, while 20 percent of them said they were short. The margin of active longs shrank to 10 percent points from last week's 40 percentage points, which was the widest since June 13, 2016. (Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Will Dunham)

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