November 30, 2020: Euro zone government bond yields were slightly lower on Monday as traders focused on expected European Central Bank efforts to tame the effect of the novel coronavirus on the continent's economy and address the low inflation numbers.
Benchmark German 10-year government bond yields touched a three-week low, while the rest of the market moved by around 1 basis point.
ECB members last week warned about the risks of tolerating a long period of weak inflation, so traders' focus on Monday will be on the flash November inflation numbers for Italy and harmonised Germany at 1000 GMT and 1300 GMT respectively.
ING analysts said in a note to clients that “the ECB looks set to add substantially to its stimulus being faced with stubbornly low inflation”.
“In absolute terms we are just shy of our 10-year yield target of -0.6%, but the ECB commitment to containing sovereign funding costs and avoiding a premature steepening of the curve keep us from seeing rates moving materially higher just yet,” they said.
German 10-year Bund yield was down 1.1 basis points at -0.598%, its lowest since Nov. 9. The rest of the core market also fell by around 1 bp.
In the peripheral markets, waters were also relatively calm, with Italian 10-year BTP yield down 1 bp at 0.552%.
The spread between German and Italian yields – essentially the premium Italy pays for its debt – was close to its narrowest for this year, trading last at 114 bps.
Portuguese 10-year government bond yields were flat at 0.014% after getting really close to zero last week and on other trading platforms even breaking in negative territory.
Investors will also be looking for the U.S. November jobs report and the ISM indices this week, but ING analysts warned that “given lockdowns and curfews kicking in, especially the jobs data, could be old news already”.
“Sentiment will likely be driven more by the potentially accelerated Covid dynamics after Thanksgiving gatherings,” they said.