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Euro Zone Bonds Rise, Powell Sticks to Easy Policy Stance

LONDON, March 5 (Reuters) - Euro zone bond yields rose on Friday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reiterated his stance that interest rates would stay low for a long time and said he didn’t view a recent rise in U.S. borrowing costs as “disorderly.”

Rising oil prices also put some upward pressure on borrowing costs across the single-currency bloc, while U.S. Treasury yields rose sharply overnight following Powell’s speech.

That set the tone for European bond markets, with 10-year bond yields 2-3 basis points higher in early trade.

Still, these moves were relatively modest compared to the overnight jump in U.S. yields -- perhaps a sign of caution in euro area markets ahead of next week’s European Central Bank meeting.

“The headwinds from U.S. Treasuries remain strong but euro bond bears seem to be getting less aggressive as the ECB meeting draws closer,” said Michael Leister, head of interest rates strategy at Commerzbank.

A slew of comments from ECB officials expressing concern about the pace of rising bond yields has helped bring some calm to the bloc’s debt markets this week.

Germany’s benchmark 10-year bond yield was last up 2 basis points at -0.29%, holding below almost one-year highs hit last week as world bond markets came under intense selling pressure.

In addition, German Bund yields were poised to end the week down around 4 bps -- the biggest weekly drop since December and breaking four straight weeks of increases.

French and Dutch 10-year bond yields were also set for the biggest weekly falls since December, while there was some focus on a Moody’s rating review of Spain later on Friday.

Attention now turned to U.S. jobs data released later. Non farm payrolls likely increased by 182,000 jobs last month after rising only 49,000 in January, according to a Reuters poll of economists.

Reporting by Dhara Ranasinghe;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

Source: Reuters


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