Italy Leads Euro-Area Bond Selloff as ECB Calms QE Expectations

  • Portuguese 10-year yield climbs to highest since February
  • Benchmark German 10-year securities rise for third day

Italy’s bonds fell for a second day, leading declines among Europe’s higher-yielding sovereign securities, as European Central Bank officials sought to temper investor expectations that they will extend stimulus measures.

German 10-year bonds, the region’s benchmark government debt, rose for a third day, while those of Spain and Portugal tracked the decline in Italian securities. Three weeks before the Governing Council’s next meeting, an account of the Oct. 19-20 gathering showed that officials were keen that they didn’t create undue expectations about more quantitative easing.

“Some of these comments have probably caused the selloff and I can understand how the market may have interpreted these to be periphery negative,” said Peter Chatwell, head of rates strategy at Mizuho International Plc in London. “Actually, my interpretation is different. The ECB has no choice but to extend QE at this point.”

Italian 10-year bond yields jumped seven basis points, or 0.07 percentage point, to 2.10 percent as of 4:05 p.m. London time. The 1.25 percent security due December 2026 fell 0.6, or 6 euros per 1,000-euro ($1,068) face amount, to 92.415. The yield jumped to 2.23 percent on Nov. 14, the highest since July 2015.

Spanish 10-year bond yields climbed six basis points to 1.60 percent and those on similar-maturity Portuguese debt reached 3.77 percent, the highest since Feb. 12. German 10-year bund yields dropped two basis points to 0.28 percent.

The ECB is due to review its 1.7 trillion-euro asset-purchase program, which is scheduled to run until at least March 2017, at its meeting on Dec. 8. It will also publish new economic forecasts through 2019. With annual inflation running at 0.5 percent, compared with the ECB’s goal of just under 2 percent, many economists predict QE will be extended.

“They will have to clarify because the March deadline is coming up,” said Luca Cazzulani, a senior fixed-income strategist at UniCredit SpA in Milan.

— With assistance by Anchalee Worrachate

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.
    LEARN MORE