LONDON (Reuters) - Euro
zone overnight interbank interest rates fell to their
lowest levels on record on Tuesday, while a sharp rally
in government bonds started to ease for some countries.
Strategists said money markets were continuing to adjust to last
week's cut in the European Central Bank's main interest rates and
its promise of fresh liquidity for banks, which should help
short-term rates stable.
"The ECB has given very strong forward guidance for the first two
years, and all its measures work to pin front-end rates," said
Michael Michaelides, rates strategist at RBS.
Spot Eonia <EONIA=> fixed at 0.053 percent after markets closed on
Monday, dropping below the previous historic low set in February
The European Central Bank cut all its main rates to record lows on
Thursday, imposing for the first time negative interest rates on
cash parked by banks at the ECB in an attempt to force them to
increase lending to companies and consumers.
Other steps included the injection of around 170 billion euros into
the banking system by halting tenders that withdrew funds spent on
past government bond purchases, and a 400 billion euro ($544.86
billion) long-term loan scheme.
The tenders will be abandoned from next week, while the ultra-cheap
four-year loans for banks - conditional on their lending to the
smaller companies that are Europe's economic backbone - will be
available from September.
Longer-term government bond markets saw a three-day rally since the
ECB's meeting starting to peter out.
Greek bonds <GR10YT=RR> were the best performers, with 10-year
yields dropping 15 bps to 5.58 percent, a level not seen since
These new lows raise the prospect that Greece, which returned to
markets in April for the first time since 2010, could soon issue
more debt to help to stave off the need for a third bailout,
Commerzbank said in a note on Tuesday.
Greece's government named economist Gikas Hardouvelis as finance
minister in a cabinet reshuffle on Monday, signaling its intent to
keep up a difficult reform drive demanded by the international
lenders funding the country.
Elsewhere in the bloc, Italy's 10-year yields <IT10YT=RR> rose 4 bps
to 2.74 percent from Monday's record low while Spain's <ES10YT=RR>
dropped 2 bps to a new low of 2.57 percent.
Germany's 10-year yield - the benchmark for euro zone bonds - was
unchanged at 1.38 percent <DE10YT=RR>.