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Junk Bond Spreads Jump Most Since May on Europe Crisis Concern

Junk bond spreads in Europe jumped the most since May on concern the sovereign deficit crisis will make it harder for the riskiest companies to meet their obligations.

The extra yield investors demand to own speculative-grade bonds climbed 30 basis points yesterday to a three-month high of 658 basis points, or 6.58 percentage points, the biggest one-day increase since May 25, according to Barclays Capital’s Pan-European High-Yield Index. Spreads, which have widened eight days in a row, have surged 117 basis points since sinking to a more than 21-month low on Oct. 27.

High-yield, or junk, bonds are rated below Baa3 at Moody’s Investors Service and BBB- at Standard & Poor’s.

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