October 28, 2019 / 12:05 PM / 20 days ago

German Bund yield hits three-month high on Brexit extension, trade war hopes

LONDON (Reuters) - Germany’s 10-year bond yield rose to a three-month high on Monday after the European Union granted Britain a three-month extension to exit the bloc and upbeat news on U.S.-China trade talks weakened demand for safe-haven assets.

A share trader checks his screens at the stock exchangee in Frankfurt, Germany, November 20, 2017. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

European Council President Donald Tusk said that the 27 countries that will remain in the EU if Britain leaves agreed on Monday to accept London’s request for a Brexit extension until Jan. 31, 2020.

U.S. President Donald Trump meanwhile said he expected to sign a significant part of a trade deal with China ahead of schedule but did not elaborate on the timing.

“The tone in bond markets has been bearish from the get go,” said Lyn Graham-Taylor, fixed income strategist at Rabobank.

“There was some optimism on trade and that is a major show in town.”

In late trade, most 10-year bond yields in the single currency bloc were 4-5 basis points higher on the day, in line with a sharp rise in U.S. treasury yields US10YT=RR.

Germany’s 10-year bond yield rose to -0.32% DE10YT=RR, its highest level since late July. Longer-dated 30-year German bond yields were 5.5 bps higher on the day at 0.18% DE30YT=RR.

German Bund yield at 3-month high - here

Hopes that a no-deal Brexit would be avoided have helped push bond yields in the euro zone higher over the past month, with 10-year yields in Germany up 24 bps in October and set for the biggest monthly rise since early 2018.

“We have to say that the majority of the market is betting on a solution,” said DZ Bank strategist Daniel Lenz. “The only question is when Brexit will happen. Nobody expects that the UK leaves without a deal.”

Friday’s ratings news drove markets in southern Europe.

Greece’s 10-year bond yield touched a record low around 1.21% GR10YT=RR after S&P on Friday upgraded the country’s credit rating one notch to BB-, citing receding budgetary risks and the lifting of capital controls. It gave the rating a positive outlook, meaning potential exists for a further upgrade.

Italian bonds underperformed, with the 10-year yield up 4.5 bps to 1.09% IT10YT=RR. S&P’s review of Italy’s credit rating on Friday kept the rating at BBB with a negative outlook.

“Greece is definitely benefiting from the rating action and in Italy, markets were expecting the negative outlook to be removed,” said Pooja Kumra, European rates strategist at TD Securities in London.

Analysts said Italian bonds were also hurt by news of a victory for the far-right League in a regional election in Umbria, raising questions about how long the national government in Rome can survive.

Reporting by Yoruk Bahceli and Dhara Ranasinghe; editing by Larry King and Kirsten Donovan

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