* Bunds fall, euro rises as ECB stands pat on policy
* Money market rates rise as ECB bets doused
* Diplomatic talks on Ukraine also weigh on Bunds
By Emelia Sithole-Matarise
LONDON, March 6 German government bond yields
rose and the euro hit a 10-week high against the dollar on
Thursday after the European Central Bank took no fresh steps to
ease monetary policy in the face of persistently low inflation.
ECB President Mario Draghi said the bank did not take action
at its monthly meeting because economic and monetary conditions
had not changed enough to warrant it.
A mooted suspension of the ECB's weekly operations to soak
up money it spent on sovereign bonds at the height of the debt
crisis did not materialise either, disappointing those who had
expected the bank to act to ward off potential deflation.
The ECB's stance accelerated a rise in top-rated euro zone
bond yields that was triggered earlier by easing geopolitical
tensions as talks to resolve the crisis in Ukraine continued.
German two-year bond yields, the most sensitive
to shifts in interest rate expectations, rose 4 bps to a
six-week high of 0.16 percent while 10-year yields
were up 5 bps at 1.65 percent.
Money market rates implied by Euribor futures in
2014 to 2017 rose by 3 to 7 basis points.
"Draghi delivered little impetus to support expectations
that maybe some kind of policy easing will be due in the next
few months or so," said Rainer Guntermann, a strategist at
Commerzbank in Frankfurt.
"We would need either significant data disappointment or
surprises on the inflation front (for the ECB to ease policy
In the forward interest rate market, euro
overnight lending rates for this year rose by up to 3
bps after Draghi's comments as traders scaled back predictions
of further action.
The Eonia strip remained slightly inverted, with October
Eonia still below the spot rate of 0.157 percent and slightly
lower than May to August rates, reflecting a small probability
of a further policy move from the ECB.
"At the moment the market will probably take a more neutral
stance on the odds of policy easing at least over the next few
months," Guntermann said.
The euro rose to a 10-week high of $1.3844 and a
seven-week high against the yen as investors who had
gone short on the euro, expecting some sort of monetary easing
by the ECB, were forced to buy back and cover those positions.
"There was also no change to the sterilisation of SMP," said
Citi strategist Valentin Marinov. "All that should be seen as
euro positive. Euro/dollar, euro/yen and euro/Swiss franc could
In the options market, one-month euro/dollar risk reversals -
a gauge of demand for options betting on a currency rising or
falling - were showing a lesser bias towards euro weakness in
the coming weeks.