June 5, 2018 / 10:07 AM / 18 days ago

Short selling interest in Italian govt debt rises - IHS Markit

LONDON, June 5 (Reuters) - Demand for borrowing Italian government bonds rose by nearly a billion dollars in the two months ending last Thursday, a proxy for short-selling interest, on heightened concerns over political uncertainty in Italy, data from IHS Markit showed.

That indicates interest is high to borrow and sell the bonds, in hope of buying them back later at a lower price, a strategy commonly employed by hedge funds.

An increase of $959 million of Italian government bonds was seen since the start of April at a time when borrowing interest in European government bonds have broadly declined.

That follows from a $7 billion increase in the first quarter of 2018, the data released to Reuters late on Monday showed. (Reporting by Saikat Chatterjee and Maiya Keidan; Graphics by Ritvik Carvalho; Editing by Dhara Ranasinghe)

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