March 11, 2019 / 8:32 AM / 9 days ago

German yields near lows as weak industrial data underlines ECB caution

* Germany industrial productions data falls unexpectedly

* German 10-year yields dip to 0.06 pct in early trade

* Fed Chair Powell says no hurry on hikes

* Upcoming Brexit votes a crucial driver for bonds

* Euro zone periphery govt bond yields tmsnrt.rs/2ii2Bqr

By Abhinav Ramnarayan

LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) - Euro zone bond yields dipped on Monday after German industrial production fell in January, adding weight to market bets on a slowing European economy and the European Central Bank’s dovish policy stance.

Industrial output data showed that Europe’s largest economy is still suffering from trade frictions and unease about Brexit after narrowly avoiding recession last year.

“We have had a lot of sentiment indicators pointing to this, but industrial production is hard data and it is really cementing the impression that the European economy is slowing down,” said Mizuho rates strategist Antoine Bouvet.

“It is lending credibility to the view that the slowdown is not temporary, and the ECB’s decisions last week amounted basically to preventative action.”

Germany’s 10-year bond yield, the benchmark for the region, slipped 1 basis point to 0.06 percent in early trade .

It hit a 26-month low of 0.048 percent after the ECB on Thursday pushed out the timing of its first post-crisis rate hike and offered banks a new round of cheap loans to help revive the euro zone economy.

Other euro zone yields were also lower on the day, with Belgian 10-year yields a shade away from a one-year low at 0.54 percent, and Portuguese 10-year yields only a handful of basis points off an all-time low hit last week.

The cautious stance by European policymakers was echoed across the Atlantic over the weekend, with U.S. Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell saying the central bank does “not feel any hurry” to change the level of interest rates again.

Data on Friday showed that February job growth in the United States was its weakest in nearly 1-1/2 years.

Uncertainty about Brexit is also keeping yields pinned lower, with two major eurosceptic factions in the British parliament warning that Prime Minister Theresa May was facing a heavy defeat when she puts her exit deal to a vote.

This week’s parliamentary votes will be a crucial driver for risk sentiment, Commerzbank analysts said in a note, with just 19 days to go before Britain is due to leave the European Union. (Reporting by Abhinav Ramnarayan; editing by John Stonestreet)

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