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Italy’s Three-Year Yield Drops to Record Low At $10 Billion Sale

Italy's National Flag Flies in Rome
The national flag of Italy, center, and the European Union (EU) flag, right, fly from the Quirinale palace, the office of Italy's president, in Rome. Photographer: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg

Italy’s three-year yield dropped to a record low at an auction of 7.23 billion euros ($10 billion) of bonds today.

The yield on a December 2016 note fell to a record 0.93 percent from 1.12 percent at the previous sale March 13. Investors bid for 1.41 times the amount of the 2016 debt sold, down from 1.45 at the previous sale.

“Prospects for the Italian economy have moderately improved and flows coming from dealers searching for some yield pickup are likely to have been key supportive factors today,” Annalisa Piazza, an economist at Newedge Strategy in London, wrote in an e-mailed note.

The yield on Italian 10-year bonds was up 2 basis points to 3.19 percent at 11:29 a.m. Rome time, pushing the difference with comparable German Bunds to 166.2 basis points.

The Rome-based Treasury also sold 2.5 billion euros of 2021 notes at 2.44 percent, compared with 2.71 percent March 13. In addition, Italy sold 1.23 billion euros of a 2044 bond to yield 4.27 percent, compared with 4.59 percent at the previous auction Feb. 13.

Investors bid for 1.47 times the amount of the 2021 debt sold and for 1.51 that of the 2044 bonds, compared with 1.63 and 1.37 at the previous sales respectively.

Italy returns to the market next week with the sale of a six-year inflation-linked bond aimed at retail investors.

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