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UPDATE 3-Biggest weekly jump in German bond yields since 2015
June 30, 2017 / 7:57 AM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 3-Biggest weekly jump in German bond yields since 2015

* Investors brace for central bank policy tweaks

* Inflation data slows pace of yield rise

* Biggest weekly rise in French yields since Nov

* Euro zone periphery govt bond yields (Updates prices)

By Dhara Ranasinghe

LONDON, June 30 (Reuters) - Germany’s benchmark bond yield recorded its biggest weekly jump since December 2015 on Friday as investors appeared to position for an end to the era of ultra-easy monetary policy.

The pace of the yield rise, fuelled by comments by the European Central Bank and the Bank of England earlier this week, eased on Friday after data showed inflation in the bloc down slightly from the previous month.

Yet the underlying tone remained bearish after days of heavy selling in the world’s major debt markets.

Comments from the ECB and the BOE have given rise to a perception that major central banks are at a turning point - stepping back from the stimulus that has helped pin down borrowing costs for so long.

While the ECB tried to calm market reaction to remarks made by its chief Mario Draghi on Tuesday, investors appear convinced that the central bank will have to unwind its asset-purchase programme sooner rather than later, given a brighter economic backdrop and a scarcity of eligible bonds for the scheme.

“It certainty feels like a sentiment change out there. The trigger may have been Draghi’s comments, but the fact is that even after clarification, yields have continued to rise and that suggests there is more at play,” Nordea chief strategist Jan von Gerich said.

“People are starting to come to the view that tapering will happen soon and they have to position for that.”

In Germany, 10-year Bund yields rose nearly 3 basis points (bps) to 0.48 percent, its highest in more than three months.

Bund yields are 22 bps higher on the week, the biggest jump since December 2015.

Other euro zone bond yields were 1-2 bps higher on the day, with some having risen as much as 10 bps in recent sessions.

French yields recorded their biggest weekly rise since November, up 22 bps. Italian yields set their biggest weekly jump since March.

Analysts said the sharp reaction to central bankers’ comments this week stems from the fact that many investors had positioned for bond yields to stay at low levels and were caught off guard.

Money markets price in around a 90 percent chance that the ECB will hike rates over the next year. That is up from just 20 percent earlier this month.

Outside the euro zone, U.S. Treasury yields hit fresh six-week highs, and 10-year bond yields in Britain and Japan returned to March peaks.

Additional reporting by John Geddie; Editing by Alison Williams and John Stonestreet

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