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SYDNEY, Nov 16 AAP

November 16 2012, 08:55AM

Australian bond futures prices are a touch lower, as the market looks to consolidate previous gains.

At 0830 AEDT on Friday, the December 10-year bond futures contract was at 97.055 (implying a yield of 2.945 per cent), down from 97.060 (2.940 per cent) at Thursday's close.

The December three-year bond futures contract was trading at 97.510 (2.490 per cent), down from 97.530 (2.470 per cent).

ANZ head of interest rate research Tony Morriss said Australia's bond market had performed strongly in recent days, but the gains were slowing a tad.

"We've recorded a slight fall, although bond prices have been rising all week," he said.

"Stock markets have been performing quite poorly, and data from Europe and the US has still been quite weak.

"But the gains are just a little more grinding at the moment."

Data from the US showed manufacturing in the mid-Atlantic states to fell significantly last month, likely influenced by superstorm Sandy.

The PhillFed business activity index fell to -10.7 in November, from 5.7 the previous month.

Weekly unemployment figures in the US rose rose to 439,000 - their highest point in 18 months - also influenced by the storm.

Meanwhile UK retail sales data fell 0.8 per cent in October - more than the expected 0.1 per cent drop.

Mr Morriss said that the maturing of a Australian government bond line dated November 15 was also influencing the market.

"Obviously, some of the funds from those bonds are going to be re-invested in the market," he said.

He added that with little data on local markets, Australian bonds would look offshore for further direction.