In recent weeks, the prospect of several ECB rate hikes has caused an increase in Bund yields and, unexpectedly, several sovereign spreads. Beyond a certain point, higher spreads may become unwarranted. Under such circumstances, the ECB might consider stepping in to avoid that its policy transmission would be impacted. Determining whether sovereign spreads have increased too much is a real challenge. Historically, based on a 20-week moving window, the relationship (beta) between the BTP-Bund spread and Bund yields fluctuates a lot, so this calls for taking a longer perspective. Using data since 2013, the current spread is in line with an estimate based on current Bund yields. Clearly, other economic variables should be added to the analysis. It shows the complexity of the task should the ECB commit to address unwarranted spread widening.

Recently, certain euro area sovereign spreads - the difference between government bond yields in a given country and the yield on German government bonds of equivalent maturity, which are considered as the risk-free benchmark, - have widened significantly. This has raised concern that it could influence the transmission of monetary policy and has even led to an ad hoc meeting of the ECB governing council on 15 June “to exchange views on the current market situation”.

When the ECB signals its intentions to raise its deposit rate, one should expect that the entire structure of short and long-term interest rates, both in capital markets (government and corporate bond yields) and in bank-based financing, will shift upwards. Higher yields on German government bonds should cause some spread widening for more heavily indebted sovereign issuers but also for corporates (chart 1). This can occur even in the absence of a worsening in the near-term economic outlook. Investors who target a certain yield need to take less exposure to e.g. Italy or corporate bonds when Bund yields have increased significantly. The spread can also increase because investors require some extra yield as a protection against a possible deterioration of the credit quality.

Chart

However, beyond a certain point, higher spreads become unwarranted based on the fundamentals in terms of credit quality. As a consequence, demand and economic activity might suffer in certain countries because, due to a disproportionate increase in long term interest rates - reflecting higher Bund yields and a wider spread -, financial conditions would tighten more than what the ECB was expecting when deciding to raise the deposit rate. This gives rise to fragmentation risk. The disconnect between spreads and fundamentals worsens the economic outlook, thereby causing higher risk aversion and further spread widening, ‘giving rise to non-linear and destabilizing dynamics’.

In such case, the ECB considers, with reason, it should step in to avoid that its policy transmission would be impacted. This is the logic behind the ‘believe me it will be enough’ speech of Mario Draghi in July 2012 or behind Isabel Schnabel’s recent speech at the Sorbonne in which she explained “there can be no doubt that, if and when needed, we can and will design and deploy new instruments to secure monetary policy transmission and hence our primary mandate of price stability.”

Download The Full Eco Flash

BNP Paribas is regulated by the FSA for the conduct of its designated investment business in the UK and is a member of the London Stock Exchange. The information and opinions contained in this report have been obtained from public sources believed to be reliable, but no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made that such information is accurate or complete and it should not be relied upon as such. This report does not constitute a prospectus or other offering document or an offer or solicitation to buy any securities or other investment. Information and opinions contained in the report are published for the assistance of recipients, but are not to be relied upon as authoritative or taken in substitution for the exercise of judgement by any recipient, they are subject to change without notice and not intended to provide the sole basis of any evaluation of the instruments discussed herein. Any reference to past performance should not be taken as an indication of future performance. No BNP Paribas Group Company accepts any liability whatsoever for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of material contained in this report. All estimates and opinions included in this report constitute our judgements as of the date of this report. BNP Paribas and their affiliates ("collectively "BNP Paribas") may make a market in, or may, as principal or agent, buy or sell securities of the issuers mentioned in this report or derivatives thereon. BNP Paribas may have a financial interest in the issuers mentioned in this report, including a long or short position in their securities, and or options, futures or other derivative instruments based thereon. BNP Paribas, including its officers and employees may serve or have served as an officer, director or in an advisory capacity for any issuer mentioned in this report. BNP Paribas may, from time to time, solicit, perform or have performed investment banking, underwriting or other services (including acting as adviser, manager, underwriter or lender) within the last 12 months for any issuer referred to in this report. BNP Paribas, may to the extent permitted by law, have acted upon or used the information contained herein, or the research or analysis on which it was based, before its publication. BNP Paribas may receive or intend to seek compensation for investment banking services in the next three months from an issuer mentioned in this report. Any issuer mentioned in this report may have been provided with sections of this report prior to its publication in order to verify its factual accuracy. This report was produced by a BNP Paribas Group Company. This report is for the use of intended recipients and may not be reproduced (in whole or in part) or delivered or transmitted to any other person without the prior written consent of BNP Paribas. By accepting this document you agree to be bound by the foregoing limitations. Analyst Certification Each analyst responsible for the preparation of this report certifies that (i) all views expressed in this report accurately reflect the analyst's personal views about any and all of the issuers and securities named in this report, and (ii) no part of the analyst's compensation was, is, or will be, directly or indirectly, related to the specific recommendations or views expressed herein. United States: This report is being distributed to US persons by BNP Paribas Securities Corp., or by a subsidiary or affiliate of BNP Paribas that is not registered as a US broker-dealer, to US major institutional investors only. BNP Paribas Securities Corp., a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, is a broker-dealer registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and is a member of the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. BNP Paribas Securities Corp. accepts responsibility for the content of a report prepared by another non-US affiliate only when distributed to US persons by BNP Paribas Securities Corp. United Kingdom: This report has been approved for publication in the United Kingdom by BNP Paribas London Branch, a branch of BNP Paribas whose head office is in Paris, France. BNP Paribas London Branch is regulated by the Financial Services Authority ("FSA") for the conduct of its designated investment business in the United Kingdom and is a member of the London Stock Exchange. This report is prepared for professional investors and is not intended for Private Customers in the United Kingdom as defined in FSA rules and should not be passed on to any such persons. Japan: This report is being distributed to Japanese based firms by BNP Paribas Securities (Japan) Limited, Tokyo Branch, or by a subsidiary or affiliate of BNP Paribas not registered as a financial instruments firm in Japan, to certain financial institutions permitted by regulation. BNP Paribas Securities (Japan) Limited, Tokyo Branch, a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, is a financial instruments firm registered according to the Financial Instruments and Exchange Law of Japan and a member of the Japan Securities Dealers Association. BNP Paribas Securities (Japan) Limited, Tokyo Branch accepts responsibility for the content of a report prepared by another non-Japan affiliate only when distributed to Japanese based firms by BNP Paribas Securities (Japan) Limited, Tokyo Branch. Hong Kong: This report is being distributed in Hong Kong by BNP Paribas Hong Kong Branch, a branch of BNP Paribas whose head office is in Paris, France. BNP Paribas Hong Kong Branch is regulated as a Licensed Bank by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and is deemed as a Registered Institution by the Securities and Futures Commission for the conduct of Advising on Securities [Regulated Activity Type 4] under the Securities and Futures Ordinance Transitional Arrangements. Singapore: This report is being distributed in Singapore by BNP Paribas Singapore Branch, a branch of BNP Paribas whose head office is in Paris, France. BNP Paribas Singapore is a licensed bank regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore is exempted from holding the required licenses to conduct regulated activities and provide financial advisory services under the Securities and Futures Act and the Financial Advisors Act. © BNP Paribas (2011). All rights reserved.

Feed news Join Telegram

Recommended Content


Recommended Content

Editors’ Picks

EUR/USD rebounds, steadies above 1.0400

EUR/USD rebounds, steadies above 1.0400

EUR/USD has staged a rebound and reclaimed 1.0400 during the American trading hours on Friday with the US Dollar Index retreating from the multi-week high it set at above 105.60. Nevertheless, the pair remains on track to close the week in negative territory. 

EUR/USD News

GBP/USD climbs to 1.2050 area, looks to post weekly losses

GBP/USD climbs to 1.2050 area, looks to post weekly losses

GBP/USD reversed its direction and advanced to the 1.2050 area after having dropped to 1.1976 earlier in the day. The pair is still down more than 1% on the day with safe-haven flows dominating the financial markets following the disappointing PMI data from the US.

GBP/USD News

Gold rebounds above $1,800 as US yields fall sharply

Gold rebounds above $1,800 as US yields fall sharply

Gold has regained its traction and recovered above $1,800 after having slumped to a multi-month low below $1,790. Following the dismal PMI data from the US, the benchmark 10-year US Treasury bond yield is down more than 6% on the day, fueling XAU/USD's rebound.

Gold News

Why traders are rushing to exit positions on Cardano’s ADA price

Why traders are rushing to exit positions on Cardano’s ADA price

Cardano (ADA) price has had its performance review as the summer kicks off. ADA bulls are returning home with not-that-good a scorecard, and the underperformance could cut short holiday funding for the cryptocurrency.

Read more

FXStreet Premium users exceed expectations

FXStreet Premium users exceed expectations

Tap into our 20 years Forex trading experience and get ahead of the markets. Maximize our actionable content, be part of our community, and chat with our experts. Join FXStreet Premium today!

BECOME PREMIUM

Majors

Cryptocurrencies

Signatures