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Sovereign, Corporate Bond Risk Falls After Spanish Bank Rescue

The cost of insuring against default on European sovereign and corporate debt fell after Spain asked for a 100 billion euro ($126 billion) bailout for its banks.

The Markit iTraxx SovX Western Europe Index of credit-default swaps on 15 governments fell six basis points to 314 at 8 a.m. in London. Contracts on Spain dropped 22 basis points to 565 and Italy fell 15 to 529, signaling improvement in perceptions of credit quality.

Contracts on the Markit iTraxx Crossover Index of 50 companies with mostly high-yield credit ratings tumbled 26 basis points to 670. The Markit iTraxx Europe Index of 125 companies with investment-grade ratings fell six basis points to 170.

The Markit iTraxx Financial Index linked to senior debt of 25 banks and insurers dropped 13 basis points to 266 and the subordinated index declined 22 to 430.

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

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