Euro zone bond moves contained ahead of ECB

04/20/2021 | 05:57am

* German, Italian bond yields touch new highs since late Feb

* Moves contained compared to Monday

* ECB gross emergency bond buys highest since June 2020 last week

AMSTERDAM, April 20 (Reuters) - Euro zone bond yields were little changed on Tuesday, after a hefty sell-off the previous session, as the market paused ahead of the bloc's central bank meeting later this week.

Trading was uneventful compared to Monday, when German bond yields rose as much as 5 basis points, with no major data releases due on Tuesday and attention turning to the European Central Bank meeting on Thursday.

Investors hope the meeting will give more clarity on the ECB's stimulus plans once the bloc's economic recovery takes hold.

Germany's 10-year yield, the benchmark for the region, rose above Monday's peak to a new high since late February of -0.215% at the session open, but dipped below that level and was unchanged at -0.24% at 1352 GMT.

Italian 10-year yields, which earlier rose to 0.818%, a new high since late February, were also unchanged.

"As the calendar remains light while the flow backdrop looks set to improve significantly in coming days, we do not yet expect (euro zone government bond) yields to sustain levels above this year's highs and suggest buying into further Bund weakness," Christoph Rieger, head of rates and credit research at Commerzbank told clients.

Bond yields rise as prices fall.

Net cash flows - the money investors have left from the payments they receive from coupons and maturing bonds after accounting for the amount of new issuance in the market - are around 12 billion euros this week and nearly 15 billion euros next week, Danske Bank said.

Data on Tuesday showed the ECB bought 28.4 billion euros of bonds under its pandemic emergency bond programme last week before accounting for redemptions - the highest since end-June 2020, Refinitiv IFR found.

Redemptions of 12.1 billion euros were a record, IFR said.

That came after Monday's data showed net buying slowed last week, adding to concerns that purchases haven't picked up meaningfully since the ECB increased the pace of the buying in March.

In the primary market, the European Union raised 4.75 billion euros via a 15-year bond that will refinance debt backing EFSM bailout loans, which received 41.5 billion euros of investor demand, a lead manager memo seen by Reuters showed.

In auctions, Germany sold 4.085 billion euros of two-year bonds and Finland raised 986 million euros from the re-opening of a bond due 2040. (Reporting by Yoruk Bahceli, Editing by William Maclean and Barbara Lewis)

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