Monday, August 23, 2010

Economics 23/8/10: ECB & IRL bonds

Per report today: "FRANKFURT, Aug 23 (Reuters) - The ECB said on Monday it bought and settled €338mln worth of bonds last week, the highest amount since early July and bolstering recent market talk it had ramped up purchases of Irish bonds. The amount is well above €10mln of purchases settled the previous week... It follows recent comments by market participants that the ECB bought 60 million euros of 2012 Irish government bonds just over a week ago, after spreads over German Bunds ballooned. The ECB has not given any details of its bond buying."

I speculated after last auction results were announced by the NTMA that extraordinary level of cover (x5.4) on 4 year bonds issue looked strange and that ECB buying might be the case. To remind you - NTMA sold €500mln of 4-year bonds. It now appears that the ECB did indeed engage in potentially substantial buying of Irish bonds. If so, such buying cold have
  1. pushed other purchasers out of the shorter term paper into 10 year bonds; and/or
  2. pushed yields on both shorter and longer term paper down.
€338mln figure includes trades executed between August 12 and August 14 - the auction of shorter term paper that is known to have involved ECB buying.

All in, we are clearly now in the yields zone where the markets are happy to watch us lean on ECB, the ECB is happy to watch us skip one-legged across budgetary deficit that keeps opening up wider and wider. Clearly, such an equilibrium is unlikely to be stable. Expect some fireworks once markets come back to full swing a week from now.

1 comment:

patrick1978 said...

Good stuff Constantin, you are an expert on ECB topic,
I watch Silvia Wadhwa on CNBC Europe live from Frankfurt and I learn a lot from her as well

see here: