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Sovereign Bond Risk Rises in Europe, Credit-Default Swaps Show

May 21 (Bloomberg) -- The cost of insuring against default on European sovereign debt rose for a seventh day, while measures of corporate debt risk fell for the first time in at least a week, according to BNP Paribas SA.

The Markit iTraxx SovX Western Europe Index of credit-default swaps on 15 governments climbed four basis points to 315 at 8:25 a.m. in London, the highest since the current version started trading in March. An increase signals deterioration in perceptions of credit quality.

The Markit iTraxx Crossover Index of 50 companies with mostly high-yield credit ratings dropped 10.5 basis points to 744.5. The Markit iTraxx Europe Index of 125 companies with investment-grade ratings fell three basis points to 179.5, the first decline in 10 days.

The Markit iTraxx Financial Index linked to senior debt of 25 banks and insurers decreased two basis points to 303.5 and the subordinated index was 6.5 lower at 510.5.

A basis point on a credit-default swap protecting 10 million euros ($12.8 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.

To contact the reporter on this story: Abigail Moses in London at Amoses5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Armstrong at Parmstrong10@bloomberg.net

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