Germany’s benchmark 10-year government bond yield held near its lowest level in almost two weeks on Tuesday, as a slew of central bank policy makers lined up to give their latest thoughts on the economy and monetary policy outlook. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is scheduled to speak at a gathering on central banking in Portugal, while Bank of England chief Mark Carney is expected to speak at a news conference following the release of the bank’s financial stability report later this session. Janet Yellen, the head of the U.S. Federal Reserve, speaks in London later in the day. Other Fed officials are also on the calendar.
While the outlook for economic growth has brightened this year, subdued inflation in most major economies has cast doubts over the scale and scope for tighter monetary policies. A recent fall in oil prices has also weighed on market inflation expectations. Long-dated U.S. Treasury yields fell to seven-month lows on Monday after weak U.S. durable goods orders raised concerns about tepid growth and slowing inflation.
That triggered a further flattening of yield curves, with the gap between and five and 30-year bond yields at its tightest level since 2007. The yield curve in Germany, the euro zone’s biggest economy and its benchmark issuer, is close to its flattest in seven months. Germany’s 10-year Bund yield was virtually flat on Tuesday at around 0.25 percent and within sight of almost two-week lows hit the previous session.
Most other bond yields across the single-currency bloc were also little changed on the day. With inflation in the single-currency bloc still low, analysts expect the European Central Bank to maintain its ultra-loose monetary policy stance for some time, pinning down bond yields.
“The European economy is doing well and inflation is low, so it looks like a perfect world for a central bank,” said DZ Bank strategist Daniel Lenz. “But the ECB is caught between those economies that are weak and still need monetary stimulus and those that are healthy and are saying rates are too low.” There was some focus on debt sales in the region. Germany is slated to sell 4 billion euros worth of two-year government debt, while Italy is scheduled to auction inflation-linked bonds.