LONDON (Reuters) - German government bond yields hit new 18-month highs, while the euro edged higher on Thursday after minutes from the ECB’s most recent meeting showed the central bank left the door open to removing its bond-buying pledge.
ECB rate setters meeting last month discussed dropping from their policy message a long-standing pledge to expand or extend the bank’s bond-purchase programme if necessary, minutes of the meeting showed on Thursday.
That added to selling pressure in bond markets, already uneasy about the prospect of monetary stimulus being scaled back in the months ahead.
Germany’s benchmark 10-year Bund yield rose on Thursday to a fresh 18-month high at 0.56 percent.
The euro inched up to trade at $1.1375, its highest in two days, after the minutes, leaving it up 0.2 percent on the day in a quiet trading session.
Europe’s STOXX 600 equity index remained stuck at its day’s lows after the minutes, down 1 percent.
Reporting by the London Markets Team; Editing by Nigel Stephenson