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SYDNEY, Jan 29 AAP

January 29 2013, 4:39PM

Australian bond futures prices remain low, after hints that European banks are preparing to pay back money loaned to them by the European Central Bank.

On Friday, the ECB said up to 137.2 billion euros could be repaid by recipients of its long-term refinancing operation, or LTRO, with 278 banks set to take part in the repayment.

The news has helped push bond prices down globally, according to Deutsche Bank bond trader Andrew Bryan.

"The catalyst for the recent ranges has been European banks indicating the repayment of some of that LTRO money," he said.

"The market is taking that as a sign of a greater appetite for risk in the trading environment, so bond yields are pushing higher on the back of that."

Mr Bryan said Australia's bond market would continue to focus on international news to drive prices this week.

"There hasn't been much in the way of domestic data to cause any of the moves we've been having," he said.

"We'll continue to follow offshore developments throughout the course of this week."

At 1630 on Tuesday, the March 10-year bond futures contract was trading at 96.525 (implying a yield of 3.475 per cent), down from Friday's close of 96.705 (3.295 per cent).

The March three-year bond futures contract was at 97.130 (implying a yield of 2.870 per cent), down from 97.290 (2.710 per cent).