French downgrade rumours lift Bunds

European stock markets erased gains, the euro fell and German Bund futures hit a new record high on Thursday, with traders citing rumours that Moody’s might be set to downgrade France’s sovereign credit rating.

The French finance minister, the French Treasury and ratings agency Moody’s in London were not immediately available for comment. Moody’s said on Monday no moves were imminent on France’s rating.

Any move by a ratings agency ahead of French presidential elections would be a surprise, other traders said.

Bund futures last traded 20 ticks higher on the day at 140.56, having hit a record high of 140.78 earlier. Italian, Spanish and French bond yield spreads over benchmark German Bunds widened.

French 10-year government bond yields were 8 basis points higher at 3.09 percent.

The euro last traded at $1.3085, having hit session lows at $1.3070. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index erased strong earlier gains to trade unchanged on the day at 1,044.80.


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Dean Popplewell

Dean Popplewell

Vice-President of Market Analysis at MarketPulse
Dean Popplewell has nearly two decades of experience trading currencies and fixed income instruments. He has a deep understanding of market fundamentals and the impact of global events on capital markets. He is respected among professional traders for his skilled analysis and career history as global head of trading for firms such as Scotia Capital and BMO Nesbitt Burns. Since joining OANDA in 2006, Dean has played an instrumental role in driving awareness of the forex market as an emerging asset class for retail investors, as well as providing expert counsel to a number of internal teams on how to best serve clients and industry stakeholders.
Dean Popplewell