The cost of insuring against default on European sovereign and corporate debt fell, according to BNP Paribas SA prices for credit-default swaps.
The Markit iTraxx SovX Western Europe Index of swaps on 15 governments dropped 2.5 basis point to 339.5 at 8:15 a.m. in London. A decline signals improvement in perceptions of credit quality.
Contracts on the Markit iTraxx Crossover Index of 50 companies with mostly high-yield credit ratings decreased 7.5 basis points to 556.5. The Markit iTraxx Europe Index of 125 companies with investment-grade ratings fell one basis point to 127.5 basis points.
The Markit iTraxx Financial Index linked to senior debt of 25 banks and insurers decreased 4.5 basis points to 198.5 and the subordinated index dropped eight to 341.
A basis point on a credit-default swap protecting 10 million euros ($13.5 million) of debt from default for five years is equivalent to 1,000 euros a year. Swaps pay the buyer face value in exchange for the underlying securities or the cash equivalent should a borrower fail to adhere to its debt agreements.