BIS Says Third of European Bonds Losing Money

A third of bonds from eurozone states are losing investors money, the Bank for International Settlements says.

By the end of November, the stock of eurozone government bonds that carried negative yields had risen to more than €1.9 trillion (£1.36tn; $2.05tn).

The bond prices are so high that investors will not get their money back on maturity, and the interest rates are not high enough to make up for it.

The BIS blames the European Central Bank’s recent comments.

It said that other major government bond markets, including Japan and the UK, had not gone down this path.

Some economists believe quantitative easing (QE) by the European Central Bank (ECB), a programme by which it purchases bonds in secondary markets, has triggered the move by so many euro area bonds into negative territory.

The BIS said in its latest quarterly review that speeches by ECB officials from late October onwards were interpreted “as signals for an expansion in monetary accommodation in early December” and that subsequently “yields continued to fall”.

In early December, ECB chairman Mario Draghi did in fact extend the bank’s monthly €60bn stimulus programme by six months to March 2017.

He said the QE programme was working, but that an extension was needed to tackle prolonged low inflation.

Via BBC News

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza