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Long-dated JGBs gain as weaker equities lift safe-haven debt demand

TOKYO, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Longer-dated Japanese government bond prices rose on Wednesday, helped by a smooth 20-year debt auction and as investors stayed away from placing big bets in equities with some countries reimposing lockdowns amid rising coronavirus cases globally.

The surge in new cases comes as investors have hailed two promising vaccine trial results published earlier this month.

Benchmark 10-year JGB futures rose 0.09 point to 152.16, with a trading volume of 13,966 lots, while the 10-year JGB yield lost half-a-basis point to 0.015%.

The 1.2-trillion-yen 20-year JGB auction on Wednesday drew ample investor interest, with the bid-to-cover ratio, a gauge of demand, at 3.61.

Following the auction result, the 20-year JGB yield and the 30-year JGB yield fell 1.5 basis points each to 0.385% and 0.630%, respectively.

The market tracked overnight fall in U.S. Treasury yields, as risk sentiment faded after data showed U.S. retail sales increased less than expected in October and could slow further.

Also lifting the safe-haven appeal of fixed-income assets was a spike in fresh coronavirus cases in Tokyo - a daily record high of 493 on Wednesday.

The two-year JGB yield, the five-year yield and the 40-year note yield were untraded. (Reporting by Tokyo markets team, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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