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Europe, News

Euro zone bond yields rise; U.S.-China trade talks in focus

* Euro zone bond yields rise, trade talks in focus

* Italy launches dollar bond sales

* Euro zone periphery govt bond yields http://tmsnrt.rs/2ii2Bqr (Updates prices for late trade)

By Dhara Ranasinghe and Yoruk Bahceli

LONDON, Oct 9 (Reuters) – Euro zone government bond yields rose on Wednesday, reversing some of the previous day’s falls as a media report eased worries about escalating U.S.-China trade tensions.

China is still open to agreeing a partial trade deal with the United States, Bloomberg reported, citing an official with direct knowledge of the talks, despite the recent blacklisting of Chinese technology firms.

European shares rallied and U.S. stock markets opened higher, taking the shine off safe-haven debt.

Ten-year bond yields across the euro area were 3-4 basis points higher on the day .

Germany’s benchmark 10-year Bund yield was up 4 bps at -0.56%, keeping within recent ranges.

“There’s slightly better news on the China side so that’s helping sentiment,” said Chris Scicluna, head of economic research at Daiwa Capital Markets in London.

“So some of the negativity around trade talks has ebbed and there is a better tone to equity markets.”

High-level trade talks between China and the United States are expected to take place on Thursday and Friday.

The sell-off in bond markets followed a rally on Tuesday and came on another day of fresh supply – which tends to put upward pressure on yields.

“There’s been so much negative news and mixed headlines … If you wrap these together and (you know that) global growth is heading one way, you then see the market reposition and try to take some profit off the news,” said Matthew Cairns, fixed income strategist at Rabobank.

The trade war is a key risk to global growth. Bond yields typically fall on lowered growth and inflation expectations.

“You take profit and yields move higher, then you head back in because you’re pretty confident that we’re going to go lower anyway,” Cairns added.

Bond yields across the bloc remain down heavily in year-to-date terms. German, French and Dutch 10-year yields, for instance, are down 80-100 bps this year.

Portugal meanwhile sold 750 million euros of 15-year bonds at an auction. Ireland said it had mandated banks to sell more of its green bond.

And Italy opened the books for its first dollar-denominated bond sale in nearly a decade, with investor interest exceeding $20 billion.

The southern European country is selling three dollar bonds of five, 10 and 30 years’ maturity in a deal that has been more than a year in preparation.

Investors will also eye the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s September meeting due for release later on Wednesday.

Focus is on the U.S. central bank’s next policy decision as Chairman Jerome Powell flagged openness to further rate cuts and said the Fed would expand its balance sheet to ensure money markets functioned smoothly. ($1 = 0.9107 euros) (Reporting by Yoruk Bahceli and Dhara Ranasinghe; Editing by Dale Hudson and Alex Richardson)


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