A gauge of U.S. corporate debt risk fell the most in more than two weeks after European leaders agreed to relax rules on emergency loans for Spanish banks, reducing pressure on Spain and Italy’s bond yields.
The Markit CDX North America Investment Grade Index, a credit-default swaps benchmark used to hedge against losses on corporate debt or to speculate on creditworthiness, plunged 3.9 basis points to a mid-price of 114.3 basis points at 8:07 a.m. in New York, according to prices compiled by Bloomberg. The measure fell as much as 4.4 basis points today, the most since a 4.6-basis point drop on June 14.
Euro-area leaders in Brussels decided to eliminate requirements that taxpayers get preferred creditor status on aid to Spain’s banks and relaxed the means of recapitalizing lenders. The plans have eased investor concern that the currency bloc may disintegrate, disrupting the global economy.
Yields on Spanish 10-year notes dropped 37 basis points to 6.57 percent at 8:02 a.m. in New York, Bloomberg prices show. Italy’s 10-year bond yield fell 28 basis points to 5.92 percent.
The swaps gauge typically falls as investor confidence improves and rises as it deteriorates. Credit swaps 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.