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Euro zone bond yields rise amid global rate repricing

10/18/2021 | 03:12am EST

LONDON, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Euro zone bond yields edged up on Monday as a global repricing of interest rate expectations pushed borrowing costs in the common currency bloc back towards recent multi-month highs. Recent comments from European Central Bank officials including ECB chief Christine Lagarde have soothed concern in debt markets that the central bank is likely to tighten policy soon in the face of higher inflation.

But with a hawkish shift from other major central banks such as the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of England prompting investors to ratchet up bets for early rate hikes, bond yields in the euro area are being dragged higher by their peers.

In the United States, for example, money markets are pricing in one 25 bps rate hike by the Federal Reserve by September 2022. Even in the eurozone, where policymakers are more dovish, markets are pricing in an ECB rate hike next year.

"Inflation and inflation expectations have risen to the point where central banks are likely to respond, and markets have priced in significantly more hikes among the major central banks," Citigroup strategists said in a note.

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey sent a fresh signal on Sunday that the British central bank is gearing up to raise interest rates for the first time since the onset of the coronavirus crisis as inflation risks mount.

"Bunds look set to remain torn between soothing ECB comments and ongoing bearish lift-off adjustments in the U.S. and UK," Commerzbank rates strategist Rainer Guntermann said.

In early trade, Germany's 10-year Bund yields was up 2 basis points on the day at -0.15%, heading back to highs hit last week -0.085%.

Yields on five-year U.S. Treasuries rose three bps to 1.53%, its highest levels since Feb 2020, flattening the gap between five-year and 30-year debt to its narrowest levels since May 2020.

Elsewhere, yields on 10-year Italian government debt held at 0.90%, just a shade below June 2021 highs of nearly 0.93% hit last week. (Reporting by Dhara Ranasinghe and Saikat Chatterjee Editing by Gareth Jones)

© Reuters 2021
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