* Germany to offer up to 4 billion euro of 5-year debt
* Lingering emerging market worries also support Bunds
* Spanish, Italian yields also fall
By Emelia Sithole-Matarise
LONDON, Feb 5 German Bund yields slipped back
towards six-month lows on Wednesday before a sale of bonds seen
drawing solid demand on expectations the European Central Bank
will signal further monetary policy easing this week.
Germany offers up to 4 billion euros of five-year bonds at
an auction later in the day with lingering concerns over
emerging markets and the ECB policy outlook supporting demand
even though yields in the secondary market are near six-month
Yields on five-year bonds were last 0.5 basis points lower
at 0.55 percent with the 10-year Bund yield 1 basis
point down at 1.54 percent, within a whisker of the six-month
low of 1.534 percent hit on Tuesday.
"Uncertainties in emerging markets and expectations in the
market that the ECB will deliver something tomorrow or send out
a strong signal they (will) fight deflation after the pretty
weak data on euro zone inflation last week have reinforced
demand for safe-haven assets," said UniCredit strategist Luca
"So despite the fact that yields are low there's demand out
there for Bunds and we expect the auction to go well because of
these two factors."
A fall in euro zone inflation to 0.7 percent last month,
well below the ECB's target, and volatile money markets are
piling pressure on the ECB to do more to pep up the block's weak
While a Reuters poll of 76 economists taken last week
pointed to no change in ECB rates at its policy meeting on
Thursday, a few - including Deutsche and RBS economists - expect
"The ECB may not move on Thursday. Talk will, however,
remain dovish with a door open for more easing in the coming
months," said Societe Generale strategist Ciaran O'Hagan.
Analysts are also looking for clarity from ECB President
Mario Draghi on reports it could suspend its weekly operations
to soak up money it spent on crisis-era sovereign bonds in order
to boost excess liquidity in money markets.
Yields on other euro zone bonds were also slightly lower,
with Spanish and Italian yields down 2 bps at 3.55 percent
and 3.76 percent respectively.