LONDON: German government bond futures rose on Monday after the International Monetary Fund poured cold water on a media report that it was in talks with Italian authorities on an aid package for the euro zone's third biggest economy.
Still, Italian BTP futures rose albeit in ultra-slim volumes after Italian newspaper La Stampa reported over the weekend that the IMF was preparing a rescue plan worth up to 600 billion euros for Italy.
The amount is well above the IMF's total current lending stock and the respite for Italy was expected to be shortlived with BTP yields remaining under pressure before auctions of up to 8 billion euros of Italian debt on Tuesday.
German Bunds were also supported after Standard & Poor's cut Belgium's credit rating late on Friday, which could further undermine investor demand for its bonds in sales later on Monday.
"The IMF story about Italy seems to have been denied and that seems to be supporting Bunds and the Belgian downgrade by S&P won't help before the auctions," a trader said.
Belgian borrowing costs have increased sharply in past weeks as the country has struggled to set up a government, with the country's benchmark 10-year yield rising near the 6 percent level beyond which financing costs could become unsustainable.
The Bund future was 21 ticks up at 134.33 compared with 134.12 at Friday's settlement.