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Markets

German yields fall to 10-day low; ECB impact remains in focus

Germany's 10-year bond yields fell to a 10-day low in early trade at -0.45%. Ten-year Italian bond yields were
27 Mar 2020
  • Germany's 10-year bond yields fell to a 10-day low in early trade at -0.45%.
  • Ten-year Italian bond yields were up 8 basis points to 1.32% after Thursday's rally.

LONDON: German bond yields fell to 10-day lows on Friday after the European Central Bank's decision not to apply purchase limits for any individual country in its emergency bond-buying scheme.

Moves early on Friday were relatively subdued and benefited higher-rated markets. On Thursday, the main beneficiaries had been weaker-rated Southern European bonds, led by Italy and Greece.

Germany's 10-year bond yields fell to a 10-day low in early trade at -0.45pc.

They were last down 5 basis points on the day. Spanish and Portuguese yields fell similarly.

"Even though there are expectations for fiscal policy, and that will have an effect on issuance, the ECB's presence is the main driver," said Mizuho strategist Peter McCallum.

German yields had risen to 10-month highs at -0.14pc last week on expectations of fiscal stimulus. They have come down since as Germany, one of the states where the ECB is thought to be approaching its self-imposed issuer limit, is expected to be one of the main beneficiaries of its removal.

Ten-year Italian bond yields were up 8 basis points to 1.32pc after Thursday's rally.

Data on Thursday showed that the number of both new cases and deaths from coronavirus had risen in the country, dashing hopes for a retreat.

The country will offer up to 8.5 billion euros over four bonds on Tuesday, it announced on Thursday

Elsewhere, EU leaders were unable to agree on Thursday on the scale and scope of their economic response to the coronavirus pandemic, giving themselves two more weeks to work out details in a dispute between the ailing south and the fiscally conservative north.

Germany and the Netherlands blocked a call from Italy, Spain and France to issue joint debt.

There was also disagreement on the timing of granting standby credit to governments via the European Stability Mechanism.

Focus also remains on stimulus measures, with leaders of the group of 20 major economies pledged on Thursday to inject over $5 trillion into the global economy to limit job and income losses from the coronavirus outbreak.

Leaders of the US House of Representatives are determined to pass a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill on Friday, or at the latest on Saturday.