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The sovereign debt of many EU members, especially Greece, has been seen as a pariah asset class, but yields on Irish, Spanish and Italian bonds are now all comfortably below 4 per cent, while Greek yields have fallen to 7.5 per cent, a level last seen before the country’s 2010 bailout.
The sovereign debt of many EU members, especially Greece, has been seen as a pariah asset class, but yields on Irish, Spanish and Italian bonds are now all comfortably below 4 per cent, while Greek yields have fallen to 7.5 per cent, a level last seen before the country’s 2010 bailout.
(John Kolesidis/REUTERS)

‘Goldilocks’ start to 2014 for European debt markets

Europe’s fragile bond market is gaining strength as investors find the courage to buy more of the region’s sovereign debt.

Because European governments have made big strides to get their fiscal houses in order and economic growth is starting to return in the euro zone periphery, bond yields in once-toxic countries such as Greece, Portugal and Spain have plummeted to levels not seen in years. Greece’s 10-year debt now yields 7.38 per cent, the first time it has fallen this low since early 2010, while Spain’s 10-year bonds now yield 3.6 per cent, its lowest level since the start of the financial crisis.