TOKYO, Sept 17 (IFR) - Japanese government bond prices were flat across the curve on Tuesday morning as investors sat on their hands ahead of a two-day U. S. Federal Reserve meeting at which the central bank is expected to announce a decision on reducing its stimulus.

Price moves were also muted as the Bank of Japan did not offer to buy JGBs on Tuesday under its massive bond-buying programme.

The yield on the current five-year JGBs was unchanged from Friday at 0.265 percent, while the 10-year yield was flat at 0.720 percent. Japanese financial markets were closed on Monday for a public holiday.

The 20-year yield was also flat, at 1.655 percent, ahead of Wednesday's monthly auction of 1.2 trillion yen (7.6 billion pounds) in 20-year JGBs.

The lead JGB futures contract moved in a 143.56 to 143.77 range before finishing the morning flat at 143.58.

Several money managers at domestic corporate pension funds and regional banks said they expect the benchmark five-year JGB yield to stay below the 0.300 percent line for the time being even if the Nikkei stock average <. N225> breaks above 15,000.

They see the BOJ buying midterm JGBs to keep rates lower, although recent remarks by Fed officials have been pushing U. S. short-term interest rates unexpectedly higher.

The Nikkei average was last down 0.2 percent at 14,376. ($1 = 98.7900 Japanese yen)

(Reporting by Masatsugu Hisatsune; Editing by Chris Gallagher)


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