German Bund Auction Taps Demand; Portuguese Yield Rises

Demand for German paper up; Portuguese treasuries solid as year sales kick off

In the first auction of 2011, demand for German Bunds was up, reversing a trend over the last few auctions in which demand has been barely enough to consume all Bunds on offer.

According to a Reuters report, buyers were probably flush with cash supplied by maturing German bonds and coupon payments. Wednesday’s auction saw 3.9 billion euros ($5.13 billion) in 10-year government bonds snapped up by buyers. Bundesbank data revealed that there was enough demand that 1.6 times that amount of 2.5% January 2021 paper could have been sold. This is up from a November sale, at which demand was only 1.2 times the offerings. Yields were at their lowest in a month.

Portugal also went to market on Wednesday, finding solid demand for its sale of 500 million euros’ worth of 6-month treasury bills. Yield was up, however, over continuing concerns over the state of the euro itself and the debt situation in Europe.

France will be looking for buyers on Thursday, as it enters the New Year market with up to 9 billion euros of bonds set to mature in 2020, 2026, and 2029.

Wednesday also saw the books close on the European Financial Stabilization Mechanism’s (EFSM) debut issue from the European Union (EU). It was expected to price later in the day. Proceeds will likely go to the funding of Ireland’s bailout.

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