* Italian 10-year bond yields fell 16 bps this week
* Set for the biggest weekly decline in 2 months
* German Bund results briefly touched 2-month lows of -0.499%
* Eurozone periphery government bond yields tmsnrt.rs/2ii2Bqr (Add comments, update prices to close)
By Dhara Ranasinghe
LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) – The Italian bond market is ready for the best week in two months on Friday, even as borrowing costs rise from 4-1 / 2 month lows set after this week’s agreement on a European Union recovery fund to support the economy hit by coronavirus.
Bond yields across the euro zone rose after data showing eurozone business activity recovered in July and signs of rising US / Chinese tensions prompted investors to take profits on rising prices this week and yields fell.
Yields on Italian 10-year bonds rose 2 basis points to 1.07%, from Thursday’s low of around 1.04%.
However, Italian yields fell around 16 bps this week, set for the biggest weekly decline in two months. According to Tradeweb data, Italian 10-year bond yields fell below 1% on Thursday for the first time since March.
Yields on Spanish and Portuguese 10-year bonds are down about 6 bps this week, Greek yields have fallen 10 bps.
“The impact of the recovery fund is not fully appreciated and is still not fully appreciated,” said Peter Chatwell, head of multi-asset strategy at Mizuho. “The structural part of this story is that it allows the risk of the euro to split to a level that has not been seen for some time.”
In Germany, yields rose from two-month lows after the euro zone flash Composite Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), seen as a good indicator of economic health, rose to 54.8, the highest since mid-2018 and above forecasts. The final reading for June is 48.5.
The 10-year Bund yield held up to 4 bps at -0.44%, after briefly touching a two-month low in early trade around -0.50% because German bonds also benefited from renewed optimism about the euro area.
Three forces seem to play a role – a strong fiscal response, an aggressive stimulus from the European Central Bank, and a perception of better handling the health crisis versus the United States.
It also helped raise the euro to 21-month highs against the dollar this week.
European Union leaders on Tuesday approved a 750 billion euro recovery fund, which according to Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte would allow his government to change Italy. Italy and Spain, the two countries hardest hit by the pandemic, are among the biggest beneficiaries of the agreement.
“We think the Recovery Fund is a key element for Europe’s response to the shock. The ECB is helping to cope with large funding needs but cannot replace every foreign investor in the periphery, “analysts at BofA said in a note.
Reporting by Dhara Ranasinghe; edit by Larry King and Steve Orlofsky
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