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Markets

Euro zone bond yields steady, flash PMI in focus

  • Mounting concerns that the best of the global economic recovery may already be in the past has bolstered major sovereign bond markets in recent weeks
23 Aug 2021

LONDON: Euro zone government bond yields were little changed on Monday, with focus turning to a closely watched reading of business activity in August for signs on how the economy is faring in the face of a surging Delta variant of COVID-19.

Mounting concerns that the best of the global economic recovery may already be in the past has bolstered major sovereign bond markets in recent weeks.

But overall trading ranges remained tight on Monday, a sign of thin summer liquidity, with a rebound in world equity markets preventing further falls in bond yields for the time being.

In early Monday trade, Germany's benchmark 10-year Bund yield was little changed on the day at -0.49%, still keeping this month's six-month lows in sight.

Across the single currency bloc, most 10-year bond yields were flat to a touch higher on the day.

The flash euro zone Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), a closely tracked forward-looking economic indicator, could provide some steer for bond markets.

"The euro area PMIs should signal a further topping out but should leave markets unimpressed considering the focus on the impact of new lockdowns and the prospects for China," said Michael Leister, head of interest rate strategy at Commerzbank.

A perception that the European Central Bank will maintain an easy monetary policy stance for a long period to support growth and boost inflation was also expected to continue to support euro area bond markets.

This year's surge in inflation in the euro zone is still seen as temporary, even if prices continue to rise from already high levels, European Central Bank board member Isabel Schnabel told a German newspaper at the weekend.

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