LONDON: German bonds rose on Monday as concern at the outcome of Spanish regional elections outweighed the market's growing optimism that lenders will finally come to an agreement on Greek aid later in the day.
Separatist parties from Spain's Catalonia region won almost two-thirds of seats in the local parliament, backed by voters frustrated over the country's economic crisis and a tax system seen as unfair to the wealthy region.
While the result underlined the political difficulties facing Spain's government, it fell short of the convincing separatist win needed to mount a push for a referendum on independence for the region.
"The Catalonian election was pretty much expected ... but any sign of Europe splitting up isn't great when they need to be going the other way," a trader said.
Bund futures rose a modest 17 ticks to stand at 142.29, adding to initial gains when European equity markets opened weaker.
Although there was limited reaction in Spanish debt, where 10-year yields edged 1.5 basis points higher to 5.65 percent, the election impact could be felt more over the longer term, analysts said.
"The separatist movement may ultimately impact on the market due to fiscal concerns," Rabobank strategists said in a note.
"Namely the worry that the central government's appetite for bringing the regions to heel in terms of budgetary alignment may be limited due to the risk of stoking secessionist ambitions."