MILAN, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Yields on peripheral euro zone government bonds fell to record lows before a European Central Bank meeting that is expected to provide more emergency bond buying and cheap liquidity for banks.
Economists see the ECB expanding the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP) by another 500 billion euros and extending it at least to the end of 2021, while providing more generous Targeted Long-Term Refinancing Operations (TLTROs).
Downgrades to economic growth and inflation forecasts are also expected.
“The duration of the PEPP extension and TLTRO details could make the difference,” Commerzbank said.
Germany’s 10-year bond yield was down 1 basis point, after reaching its lowest since Nov. 9 at -0.618%.
A PEPP “expansion of 650 billion euros billion would provide a credible yield curve control backstop (even if it is not fully used in the end) and push peripheral spreads tighter,” Citi said in a research note.
Italian 10-year government bond yields fell to record lows at 0.53%, down 1 bp. Spanish and Portuguese 10-year yields reached record lows at 0.013% and -0.022% respectively.
Uncertainty about Brexit negotiations and a U.S. stimulus package continued to weigh on risk sentiment.
The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a one-week extension of federal government funding, giving lawmakers more time to haggle over a broader spending package.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commision, gave themselves until Sunday to reach a new trade agreement, after failing to overcome persistent rifts when they met for dinner on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Stefano Rebaudo, editing by Larry King)