March 24, 2020 / 11:13 AM / 16 days ago

Italian sovereign and bank CDS ease after smaller rise in death toll

LONDON, March 24 (Reuters) - The cost of insuring debt issued by China and Italy, two of the countries worst hit by the coronavirus outbreak, against default fell on Tuesday.

Five-year credit default swaps for China reached 66 basis points, down 7 bps from Monday’s close, while Italy’s edged down 9 bps to 183 bps, data from IHS Markit showed. The death toll in Italy rose by 602 on Monday, the smallest increase for four days, and the number of new cases also slowed.

Greek and Turkish CDS also fell by 8 bps and 9 bps, respectively.

Some European banks also saw an easing of risk, with CDS for Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit both down 14 bps to 175 bps and 174 bps, respectively.

The Markit iTraxx Europe crossover CDS index, which measures the cost of insuring exposure to a basket of sub-investment grade European companies, dropped to 639 bps from Monday’s close of 700 bps. (Reporting by Tom Arnold, editing by Maiya Keidan)

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