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Real-time Estimate Cboe Europe  -  04:30 2022-08-10 am EDT
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08/05Swiss Foreign Currency Reserves Inch Up in July
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08/03Swiss inflation holds steady at 3.4% in July
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Swiss move triggers biggest jump in German bond yields in a decade

06/16/2022 | 09:45am EDT
FILE PHOTO: The German Bundesbank presents 50 euro banknote at it's headquarters in Frankfurt

(Reuters) - Eurozone bond yields surged on Thursday after an unexpected, big rate hike by Switzerland turned focus to the ramifications of the policy shift for the region, but Italian debt outperformed on ECB efforts to check diverging euro area borrowing costs.

A day after the European Central Bank mandated staff to accelerate the design of a new anti-fragmentation tool to soothe battered Southern European bond markets , the SNB threw markets a fresh curve ball.

It raised interest rates by 50 basis points in its first increase for 15 years, joining other central banks in tightening monetary policy to fight resurgent inflation.

The move rippled across markets sent the Swiss franc rising more than 2% versus the euro and the British pound.

In the bloc's bond markets, it was a day of big milestones.

Germany's 10-year yield was up 18 bps to 1.84% by 1322 GMT, the biggest daily jump since March 2020. Five-year yields surged 21 bps, set for the biggest daily jump since 2012.

Yields also rose as money markets ramped up bets on European Central Bank rate hikes to price in around 190 bps of rises by December, compared to 140 bps a day earlier.

"SNB reaction in govvies is the market pricing in an aggressive ECB," said Arne Petimezas, senior analyst at AFS Group.

The SNB also said recent depreciation meant the Swiss franc was no longer highly valued on currency markets - long a concern for the bank - and a sign that the central bank was ready to loosen its grip on the franc.

The stepping back of the SNB from the currency markets means even lesser euros generated from currency market intervention would flow into eurozone debt, a big factor in keeping yields in check.

Antoine Bouvet, a senior rates strategist at ING noted that the duration of the SNB's bond holdings are nearly five years, helping explain why five-year German yields rose more than other maturities.

U.S. Treasury yields also rose sharply. The SNB's U.S. dollar and euro reserve shares are similar, just under 40%.

Italian bond yields clawed back much of their earlier rise after a Bloomberg News report, citing unnamed sources, said the ECB's new anti-fragmentation tool would probably involve selling other securities to avoid upsetting the bank's efforts to curb record inflation.

The closely-watched spread between German and Italian 10-year yields was last down to 211 bps from around 227 bps earlier and above 250 bps before the ECB's Wednesday announcement.

Italian 10-year yields reversed an earlier rise and were up 5 bps to 3.96%, from over 4% earlier. Other spreads also tightened..

France's central bank governor had already flagged the possibility of this so-called sterlisation feature. Many analysts expect it to feature in the new tool.

Italy's central bank governor said following the report that the bank is capable of sterilising liquidity without selling securities.

The report also briefly sent Germany's 10-year yield to the highest since 2014 at 1.92% but it quickly came off the day's highs.

(Reporting by Yoruk Bahceli, additional reporting by Saikat Chatterjee; editing by Carmel Crimmins and Mark Heinrich)

By Yoruk Bahceli

© Reuters 2022
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / BRITISH POUND (AUD/GBP) 0.06% 0.57614 Delayed Quote.7.82%
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / EURO (AUD/EUR) 0.16% 0.68219 Delayed Quote.7.30%
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / SWISS FRANC (AUD/CHF) 0.08% 0.66334 Delayed Quote.0.81%
BRITISH POUND / EURO (GBP/EUR) 0.15% 1.18399 Delayed Quote.-0.43%
BRITISH POUND / SWISS FRANC (GBP/CHF) -0.07% 1.15117 Delayed Quote.-6.51%
CANADIAN DOLLAR / BRITISH POUND (CAD/GBP) -0.06% 0.642376 Delayed Quote.10.05%
CANADIAN DOLLAR / EURO (CAD/EUR) 0.05% 0.760607 Delayed Quote.9.55%
CANADIAN DOLLAR / SWISS FRANC (CAD/CHF) -0.04% 0.73956 Delayed Quote.2.95%
CHINESE YUAN RENMINBI / SWISS FRANC (CNY/CHF) -0.37% 0.140795 Delayed Quote.-1.44%
DANISH KRONE / SWISS FRANC (DKK/CHF) -0.19% 13.068 Delayed Quote.-5.89%
EURO / BRITISH POUND (EUR/GBP) -0.12% 0.8446 Delayed Quote.0.43%
EURO / SWISS FRANC (EUR/CHF) -0.17% 0.97233 Delayed Quote.-6.10%
HONGKONG-DOLLAR / SWISS FRANC (HKD/CHF) -0.19% 12.131 Delayed Quote.3.92%
INDIAN RUPEE / BRITISH POUND (INR/GBP) 0.00% 0.01041 Delayed Quote.4.83%
INDIAN RUPEE / EURO (INR/EUR) 0.17% 0.012324 Delayed Quote.4.47%
INDIAN RUPEE / SWISS FRANC (INR/CHF) -0.14% 0.011973 Delayed Quote.-2.02%
JAPANESE YEN / SWISS FRANC (JPY/CHF) -0.07% 0.7052 Delayed Quote.-10.69%
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR / SWISS FRANC (NZD/CHF) 0.03% 0.5998 Delayed Quote.-3.75%
RUSSIAN ROUBLE / SWISS FRANC (RUB/CHF) -0.21% 0.015758 Delayed Quote.27.06%
SCHWEIZERISCHE NATIONALBANK -1.03% 5780 Delayed Quote.11.45%
SINGAPORE-DOLLAR / SWISS FRANC (SGD/CHF) -0.20% 0.6905 Delayed Quote.2.49%
SWEDISH KRONA / SWISS FRANC (SEK/CHF) -0.29% 0.093541 Delayed Quote.-6.62%
US DOLLAR / BRITISH POUND (USD/GBP) -0.17% 0.826877 Delayed Quote.11.95%
US DOLLAR / EURO (USD/EUR) -0.05% 0.97924 Delayed Quote.11.49%
US DOLLAR / SWISS FRANC (USD/CHF) -0.21% 0.952 Delayed Quote.4.69%
08/05Swiss Foreign Currency Reserves Inch Up in July
08/03Swiss Inflation Rate Stabilizes at 3.4% in July Amid Expectations of Another Rate Hike
08/03Swiss inflation holds steady at 3.4% in July
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07/28Swiss National Bank reiterates it can act at any time if needed
07/21Danish central bank raises key interest rate in wake of ECB hike
07/17Swiss National Bank Likely to Roll Out at Least Half-point Rate Increase in September
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