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European Market Update

European Market Update – May 14, 2010

Courtesy of Rom Badilla, CFA – Bondsquawk.com

The Euro continues its freefall and peripheral bonds weaken as the situation across the Atlantic appears to be deteriorating.

Spanish newspaper, El Pais reported that France threatened to leave the union unless Germany backed the $1 trillion bailout in last Sunday’s meeting according to a Bloomberg report. The newspaper did not reveal its sources and naturally country officials denied the report.

Though, when asked today about disagreements with EU partners, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that “some arguments are worth it,” without elaborating.

The Euro is down another 1.2 percent to 1.2390 and will end today below Monday’s close of 1.2787, which was after the bailout announcement that was intended to restore confidence back into the markets. This marks the lowest level last seen since October 2008, shortly after the collapse of Lehman Brothers. 

EUR Historical Chart

Bond yields of the peripheral countries edged higher despite ECB’s intervention of buying bonds in the secondary market this week. Greece’s 2-Year finished higher by 40 basis points to 7.20 percent. The 5-Year spiked 70 basis points to 8.22 percent while the yield on Greece’s 10-Year finished at 7.71 percent, an increase of 35 basis points. 

Greece Yield Curve Change 

The yield on Spain’s 2-Year increased 13 basis points to 1.93 percent while Portugal saw its yields rise by 17 basis points to 2.41 percent on similar maturities. Ireland’s 2-Year finished at a yield of 1.96 percent, an increase of 17 basis points. The yield on Italian 2-Year bonds rose 12 basis points to 1.57 percent.

European equities are tumbling.  London’s FTSE and Germany’s DAX are both down 3.1 percent while Paris’ CAC is lower by4.6 percent. Spain’s IBEX is getting hit the hardest and is down 6.6 percent.

On the economic data release front, Spain released its inflation report today.  While the headline number was positive at 1.5 percent, the core inflation reading declined by 0.1 percent in April. This decline, which is the first time for the core reading, comes after a March increase of 0.2 percent.

Spain Core Inflation Historical Chart

Spain joins the other PIIGS, namely Portugal and Ireland, where core pries are falling compared to the previous year. 


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