LONDON, April 10 German bond futures opened
firmer on Thursday as minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve's
March policy meeting eased some worries the central bank might
raise interest rates as soon as next year's first half.
The perceived dovish tone of the minutes was also seen
supporting riskier credits, setting up a firm backdrop for
Greece's return to the bond market just two years after it
defaulted. Greece launches a new five-year benchmark bond on
Thursday via a syndicate of banks and investor interest had
already totalled 11 billion euros on Wednesday.
Ireland also sells up to 1 billion euros of 10-year debt on
Thursday, its second regular auction since exiting its bailout
in December followed by Italy's offer on Friday of up to 7.25
billion euros of three-, seven- and 30-year bonds.
German Bund futures were last ticks 30 ticks higher
on the day at 143.56, while Italian bond futures were
18 ticks up at 122.75.
"The Fed minutes were massively dovish, downplaying the
market's interpretation of future policy. That's the main driver
today," a trader said, adding expectations of easier European
Central Bank monetary policy fueled the upbeat market tone.
"It's fairly construcitve stuff for the market overall. We
expect (the Greek bond sale) to be massively oversubscribed.
That's going to fly."
(Reporting by Emelia Sithole-Matarise; Editing by Jamie