Italian Bonds Jump as Salvini Defeat Soothes Market Nerves

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Italian Bonds Jump as Salvini Defeat Soothes Market Nerves
Credit: © Reuters.

(Bloomberg) -- Italian bonds rallied and bank shares were bolstered after the defeat of euroskeptic politician Matteo Salvini in a regional vote eased fears of a snap election.

Benchmark yields tumbled to a more than two-month low and stocks managed to avoid a global sell-off as the populist firebrand failed to win in the leftist stronghold of Emilia-Romagna, boosting Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s fragile coalition. The spread between Italian bonds and their German peers, a barometer of risk, narrowed by the most in six months.

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“Italian bonds should react positively to the center-left victory,” wrote Chiara Cremonesi, fixed-income strategist at UniCredit SpA, who sees Italy’s 10-year yield premium over Germany narrowing toward 135 basis points.

Italian stocks managed to avoid the global sell-off fueled by worries over the coronavirus outbreak, with the FTSE MIB trading little changed. Banks outperformed, with the FTSE Italia All-Share Banks index rising 1.2%.

“The results of the elections support continuity in the national government, which we see as a positive for the sovereign spread, and in turn for banks,” “No political instability from regional elections is positive for Italian banks,” Mediobanca analysts led by Andrea Filtri wrote in a note.

  • UniCredit SpA climbed 1.5%, Banco BPM SpA was up 1.8%, UBI Banca advanced 1.7%. The shares are sensitive to the spread between Italian debt and German bunds
  • Italian bank bonds, known as CoCos, outperformed the rest of the sector. Intesa Sanpaolo (MI: ISP ) SpA’s 1.25 billion-euro ($1.38 billion) 7.75% perpetual note jumped nearly a cent on the euro to about 124, its biggest gain for over a month
  • The yield on Italy’s benchmark 10-year government bond was 17 basis points lower at 1.06%, narrowing the premium over Germany by 16 basis points to 140 basis points.
“Given the bullish rates environment and the mass of liquidity in the system we expect Italian government bond yields to retest the September-October lows,” said Peter McCallum, a rates strategist at Mizuho International Plc.

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