Europe’s highest-rated government bonds rose this week, pushing German two-year note yields down to a record minus 0.052 percent, as investors sought havens from the euro-area’s financial turmoil.
Austrian, French, Belgian and Finnish two-year yields fell to all-time lows this week and those on similar-maturity Dutch debt dropped below zero for the first time. The European Central Bank said overnight deposits from financial firms slid to the lowest since December as it ended paying interest on excess cash after cutting interest rates. Italian notes rose this week even after Moody’s Investors Service cut the nation’s credit rating.
“With no credible end in sight to the euro-zone debt crisis, bund yields continue to trend lower with the short-end trading in negative territory,” said Brian Barry, an analyst at Investec Bank Plc in London. “Despite remaining largely risk averse, investors who need to pick up yield are increasing exposure to the semi-core sovereigns that have maintained their high ratings.”