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Spanish, Italian Bonds Set for Weekly Gains as Bunds Drop

Spanish and Italian bonds rose, set for weekly gains, amid optimism that demand for the countries’ debt will be sustained even as Italy approached elections and Spain’s Premier Mariano Rajoy repelled corruption allegations.

Yields on Spanish 10-year securities are set to fall by the most since the period ended Jan. 4. The country achieved “enormous progress” in its reforms, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Feb. 12, while Rajoy said public deficit data due in “coming weeks” will show the country made “unprecedented fiscal consolidation efforts.” German bunds were poised for a weekly decline as demand for the euro area’s safest assets waned.

“The key thing has been the positive comments from the Draghi in how Spain has made good progress in enacting its austerity program,” said Thomas Rahman, a strategist at RIA Capital Markets Ltd. in Edinburgh. “In Italy, no more news about the election has been good news for its debt. We have been in a quiet period and so the market has been less volatile.”

Spain’s 10-year yield fell one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 5.19 percent at 4:47 p.m. London time, leaving it 18 basis points lower this week. The 5.4 percent securities due in January 2023 gained 0.055, or 55 euro cents per 1,000-euro ($1,336) face amount, to 101.61.

The rate on similar-maturity Italian bonds declined three basis points to 4.38 percent, down 18 basis points since Feb. 8.

Yield Spreads

The yield spread between Spanish 10-year bonds and comparable German securities decreased two basis points to 354 basis points. The gap between Italian and German 10-year yields dropped four basis points to 273 basis points.

German 10-year yields rose one basis point today to 1.65 percent, extending this week’s increase to four basis points.

Volatility on French bonds was the highest in euro-area markets today, followed by those of Belgium and Portugal, according to measures of 10-year or similar-maturity debt, the yield spread between two-year and 10-year securities, and credit-default swaps.

German bonds handed investors a loss of 1.6 percent this year through yesterday, according to indexes compiled by Bloomberg and the European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies. Italian debt returned 1.2 percent and Spanish securities gained 2.2 percent.

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