Credit-Default Swaps in U.S. Fall After Bond Sales in Europe

April 24 (Bloomberg) -- A gauge of U.S. company credit risk fell as Spain and the Netherlands sold debt, easing concern Europe’s debt crisis is spreading.

The Markit CDX North America Investment Grade Index, a credit-default swaps benchmark that investors use to hedge against losses on corporate debt or to speculate on creditworthiness, fell 0.9 basis point to a mid-price of 100 basis points at 8:04 a.m. in New York, according to prices compiled by Bloomberg.

The measure decreased after Spain sold 1.9 billion euros ($2.5 billion) of bills, while the Netherlands auctioned 2 billion euros of securities. New home sales in the U.S. probably rose in March, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg before a Commerce Department report today.

The credit swaps index typically falls as investor confidence improves and rises as it deteriorates. The contracts pay the buyer face value if a borrower fails to meet its obligations, less the value of the defaulted debt. A basis point equals $1,000 annually on a contract protecting $10 million of debt.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sridhar Natarajan in New York at snatarajan15@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alan Goldstein at agoldstein5@bloomberg.net