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Euro zone bond yields hold below recent highs as sentiment stabilises

LONDON: Borrowing costs across the euro area held below recent highs on Monday, a sign that bond markets are on more stable ground after a recent sharp sell-off triggered by concern that monetary tightening could come sooner rather than later.

Ten-year government bond yields from Germany, France and the Netherlands rose almost 20 basis points in October as signs that inflation could prove stickier than expected and a hawkish shift from the likes of the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England rattled bond markets.

But without a fresh impetus to drive a sell-off in bonds, yields have come off their highs.

In early Monday trade, most 10-year bond yields were little changed on the day but holding below roughly three-month highs hit in late September.

Germany’s benchmark 10-year Bund yield for instance was marginally lower at around -0.23%, having risen to as high at -0.17% last week.

“The coming sessions will show whether Bunds remain supported as risk sentiment stabilises,” said Rainer Guntermann, a rates strategist at Commerzbank.

A note of caution in world stock markets also supported demand for safe-haven debt with concerns about China’s property sector weighing on equities.

Analysts estimated that government bond issuance in the euro area could top 20 billion euros this week, a factor that could test the calm in bond markets since new supply often puts upward pressure on yields.

Elsewhere there was focus on talks in Germany to form a new coalition government following the Sept. 26 election.

Germany’s centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) said on Sunday they were ready to move to three-way coalition talks with the Greens and Free Democrats (FDP), but the two smaller parties kept open the option of an alternative tie-up with the conservatives.

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