Stimulus Check – UPDATE 3-Greek 5-year yields hit record low as euro zone bond rally forges on
* Greek 10-year yields hit lowest since early Jan
* Greek 5-year yields dip further into negative territory
* Other euro zone yields dip ahead of Fed meet (Adds details, updates prices)
LONDON, July 28 (Reuters) – Greek five-year government bond yields hit record lows and benchmark German yields fell below -0.45% for the first time since February as euro area bonds remained supported ahead of the conclusion of the U.S. Federal Reseve’s meeting.
The world’s most important central bank is expected to keep the stimulus taps open.
Greece’s strong performance comes at a time when most southern European debt has benefited from the cautious stance taken by the European Central Bank in recent meetings and a shift in policy targets that have dovish implications.
“Greek five-year yields hitting an all-time low is directly related to the ECB quantitative easing programme, specifically the PEPP programme,” Investec economist Philip Shaw said.
He was referring to the central bank’s pandemic emergency purchasing programme (PEPP) launched last year in response to the COVID-19 crisis that included junk-rated Greek government bonds for the first time since the ECB started asset purchases in 2015.
Inclusion in PEPP has meant that the ECB has purchased a significant share of the free-float in Greek government bonds.
Greece’s benchmark 10-year government bond yield dropped a basis point to a 7-month low of 0.61%, while its five-year bond yield dropped further into negative territory to hit a new record low of -0.145%.
Major euro zone bond yields hovered near recent lows, with Germany’s 10-year government bond yield, the benchmark for the bloc, falling below -0.45% for the first time since early February. It was last down 1 basis point at -0.45% by 1510 GMT.
Later on Wednesday, the Fed is set to conclude its two-day meeting, with policymakers divided over how to respond to rising inflation in the face of increased coronavirus infections.
U.S. Treasuries yields, which have been seen as the main driver behind falling euro area bond yields in recent weeks, ticked up slightly ahead of the meeting. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield was up 2.5 basis points at nearly 1.26%, now a good distance from last week’s plunge to 1.128%, the lowest since February. Elsewhere, Spain said it planned to sell its first green bond in September via syndication, probably with a 20-year maturity.
The government has identified 13.6 billion euros worth of projects that could be financed by the proceeds of green bonds, its economy ministry said.
Reporting by Abhinav Ramnarayan, additional reporting by Yoruk Bahceli; Editing by Saikat Chatterjee, Joe Bavier and Alison Williams