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Germany's two-year govt bond yield falls to three-month low


Reuters
LONDON
Germany's two-year government bond yield fell to a three-month low on Thursday, as global political uncertainty and anticipation of increased buying by the European Central Bank before the end of the year continued to boost appetite for debt from Europe's biggest economy.
US Treasury yields fell across the board on Wednesday as risk appetite dwindled after a sell-off in some foreign equity markets and US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital touched off a storm of protest from world leaders.
That set the tone for the start of the European session. In addition, analysts said, front-loading of ECB asset purchases before the end of the year pushed German yields down.
The ECB said earlier this week it will not purchase bonds as part of its stimulus package from Dec. 21 to Dec. 29, expecting market liquidity will drop around the Christmas holidays.
Germany's two-year bond yield fell just over a basis point on Thursday in early trade to -0.793 percent, its lowest level since Sept. 8. It inched back to -0.78 percent by midday. Ten-year bond yields came off three-month lows reached the previous session and was a basis point higher at 0.31 percent.
"Overall a moderate risk off tone has crept into markets," analysts at ING said.
In its last auction of the year, France sold 3.997 billion euros in fixed-rate government bonds, or OATs, on Thursday.
"The bid-to-cover ratios were a bit lower than usual, but all in all it's a decent auction, especially given the richness of French paper," said ING strategist Martin van Vliet."France is the most highly valued government bond at the moment relative to its fundamentals."
Also, Spain sold 4.1 billion euros ($4.8 billion) of debt at a bond auction on Thursday.
European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi is scheduled to speak later this session.
A key overnight benchmark rate that European banks use to lend money to each other remained in focus after surging last week.
The Euro Over Night Index Average (EONIA) was fixed at minus 0.326 percent on Wednesday, down from a high of minus 0.241 percent last week. But it remains elevated, suggesting distortions in the market persist, analysts said.
"We feel affirmed in our suspicion that excess liquidity at a periphery panel bank is rather to blame," Commerzbank analysts said in a note."This means that the distortion should become more persistent and the fixing more erratic."

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