* Eurozone suburban government bond yields tmsnrt.rs/2ii2Bqr (Updating prices, adding backgrounds)
LONDON, April 7 (Reuters) – Eurozone bond yields were flat on Wednesday, with southern European debt steady after a sell-off in the previous session as markets braced for fresh supplies from Italy and Portugal.
Italy began the process of selling its new 50-year and 7-year bonds through a syndicate of banks on Wednesday, after marking new issues the previous day.
Portugal raised, through a bank syndicate, 4 billion euros of 10-year bonds on the back of a demand of 30 billion euros, according to a memo of the chief manager.
The tone on eurozone debt markets was largely weak, with most 10-year bond yields down 1-2 basis points (bps) on the day following falling overnight US Treasury yields.
“Overall, the higher pull from US interest rates is still alive and well and the rebound in eurozone bond markets is largely technical and temporary,” said ING senior rates strategist Antoine Bouvet.
The yield on the German 10-year Bund was flat at -0.32%, down from recent highs around -0.26%.
The IHS Markit Eurozone Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 49.6 in March from February 45.7, higher than the flash forecast of 48.8 and just below the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction.
The eurozone economy is on track for a strong recovery in the second half of this year that could allow the European Central Bank to start phasing out its emergency bond purchases in the third quarter, said Dutch central bank head Klaas Knot.
The ECB bought net assets of 6.178 billion euros ($ 5.20 billion) last week as part of a quantitative easing program, below the 23.995 billion euros it bought a week earlier.
The yield on Italy’s 10-year bond was unchanged at 0.70%, after rising sharply on Tuesday as investors braced for new supplies. The difference in the yield on the German Bund is just over 100 bps.
Analysts said bond spreads are back in focus, especially after last month’s decision by Germany’s constitutional court to stop ratification of the EU Recovery Fund prompted investors to reassess some of the risks to peripheral bonds.
“Tesoro’s (Italian Treasury’s) announcement of a new 50-year BTP syndication caught the market off guard, with 10-year and 30-year spreads versus the Bund widened by 7 bps to its highest level in nearly a month,” said Michael Leister, chief interest rate strategist. at Commerzbank, referring to Tuesday’s market moves.
“While thinner Easter liquidity may also play a role, this move adds weight to our short tactics in Italy versus semi-core (bonds) and Spain as the risk of indigestion is exacerbated by doubts about the NGEU (Next Generation EU), the ECB’s settles and makes a difference. the less generous. “(Reporting by Dhara Ranasinghe; Additional reporting by Yoruk Bahceli; Editing by Pravin Char)