German yields near five-month highs ahead of US inflation data

Already elevated inflation levels coupled with a spike in energy prices have spooked investors. — Reuters pic
Already elevated inflation levels coupled with a spike in energy prices have spooked investors. — Reuters pic

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FRANKFURT, Oct 13 — German bond yields touched their highest in nearly five months today ahead of US inflation data that will shed further light on the Federal Reserve’s likely monetary policy path.

Consumer prices are expected to have risen 5.3 per cent in September, according to a Reuters poll, unchanged from August.

Already elevated inflation levels coupled with a spike in energy prices have spooked investors, and the data due at 1230 GMT will also be the last inflation number the Fed will have ahead of its November meeting, where investors expect it may announce a start to tapering its bond purchases.

The data will also be watched closely in Europe, where German bonds in particular are closely correlated to US Treasuries.

By 0709 GMT, Germany’s 10-year yield was unchanged at -0.10 per cent after rising to -0.085 per cent, its highest since late May.

Hawkish signals from the Fed have been a key driver behind the rise of over 20 bps in German 10-year yields, the benchmark for the euro zone, over the last three weeks. Investors have also brought forward their bets on when the European Central Bank might hike interest rates.

“Changing tunes from the Bank of England and Fed... have drawn euro government bond yields higher,” said Piet Christiansen, chief analyst at Danske Bank.

“However, we remain sceptical on whether the correlation to euro government bonds will remain in a continued US sell-off. ECB has shown a collective consensus on the ‘transitory narrative’ ... which we find very important,” he added, referring to the bank’s view on inflation, which is currently far above its target.

Some investors say that the rise in ECB rate hike expectations has been too aggressive given the bank’s divergent policy path from the Fed, which means the ECB will have to keep rates lower for longer to meet its new, symmetrical inflation target.

In bond auctions, Italy will raise up to €6.5 billion from three, seven and 30-year bonds and Germany will target €1 billion from a 30-year bond. — Reuters

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