February 28, 2020 / 7:44 AM / a month ago

Italian govt bond yields spike as coronavirus cases rise

LONDON, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Italian government bond yields jumped in early trade on Friday after the number of coronavirus cases in the country continued to rise.

Officials said that the death toll had risen by five from Wednesday to 17, while the number of people who tested positive for the illness increased by more than 200, to 650.

Italian 10-year government bond yields rose 13 bps in early trade to 1.20%, the highest since Jan. 24

The gap between that yield and Germany’s 10-year government bond yield - a key measure of risk - jumped to 178 bps, the highest since late August.

10-year Italian bonds are set for their worst week this year, rising 30 bps in their biggest weekly jump since late September.

Analysts have warned that the outbreak looks set to shunt Italy’s fragile economy into its fourth recession in 12 years, with many businesses in the wealthy north close to a standstill and hotels reporting a wave of cancellations. (Reporting by Yoruk Bahceli, editing by Karin Strohecker)

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