Spain’s 10-year bond yields closed below 2 percent for the first time, a sign investors are confident that the European Central Bank will expand its asset purchases to euro-area sovereign debt as soon as next week.
Yields from France to Italy also touched record lows today as Credit Suisse Group AG, one of the banks that trade directly with the debt agencies in Madrid, Paris and Rome, said the ECB may expand its asset-purchase program, or quantitative easing, at its Dec. 4 policy meeting. ECB President Mario Draghi said on Nov. 21 that officials would be willing to widen the scope of the central bank’s purchases should the inflation outlook for the region diminish.
“I’ve no doubt we’re building a discount here for QE,” said Padhraic Garvey, head of developed-market debt strategy at ING Groep NV in London. “The potential is there for a 20-odd basis point fall in the core yields, and maybe double that for your typical BBB rated peripheral player.”