Bonds News

UPDATE 3-Euro zone bond yields jump on inflation, U.S. economic growth

* Euro zone periphery govt bond yields (Adds U.S. GDP data, updates graphic and prices)

LONDON, April 29 (Reuters) - A euro zone government bond selloff intensified on Thursday after U.S. economic growth and German inflation data came in higher than expected, strengthening the case for a pullback in central bank stimulus.

U.S. economic growth sped up in the first quarter, fueled by massive government aid to households and businesses, charting the course for what is expected to be the strongest yearly performance in nearly four decades, in the wake of the pandemic.

In addition, Germany’s annual consumer price inflation accelerated to 2.1% in April, exceeding market expectations and advancing further above the ECB’s target of “close to but below 2%”.

With the global economy on the mend, investors are on the lookout for any signs that central banks worldwide may start scaling back the extraordinary stimulus that has been flowing into the economy since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.

“While there may be temporary factors influencing inflation over the next few months, there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind we are in the beginning of the growth cycle,” said ING rates strategist Antoine Bouvet. “It’s absolutely logical for yields to keep rising.”

The German 10-year bond yield rose 4.8 basis points to -0.181%, the highest it has been since March 2020. This was also its biggest one-day jump since around mid-March, according to Refinitiv data.

Other euro zone government bond yields were also up four to seven basis points, many of them also hitting their highest level in months.

Italian 10-year yields, for example, were at their highest level in seven months at 0.884%.

A market gauge of long-term euro zone inflation expectations was up to 1.5417% on Thursday, up from 1.519% the day before.

The possibility of a tapering of bond purchases from the U.S. Federal Reserve had sparked a sharp selloff in the world’s major government bonds - including in the euro zone - in recent weeks and especially on Wednesday.

But investors received some reassurance from Fed Chair Jerome Powell after the conclusion of a meeting of rate-setters on Wednesday that the U.S. Fed would not imminently reduce its support of the U.S. economic recovery .

Even so, government yields overall have risen significantly, suggesting that growth and inflation expectations are high. Germany’s 10-year yield, for example, is up around 42 bps this year to date.

“The direction of travel is very clear. The recovery is gaining in momentum and so is inflation,” said Bouvet.

Other countries are also due to report inflation data this week while an overall euro zone number is due out on Friday.

Reporting by Abhinav Ramnarayan, additional reporting by Dhara Ranasinghe; Editing by Gareth Jones and Kim Coghill