Italy bond turmoil far from over for HSBC


Things are likely to get worse for Italian bonds before they get better. That’s the message from HSBC Holdings Plc after Italy’s government decided last week to set its 2019 budget deficit target at 2.4 percent, roiling markets. That has prompted Chris Attfield, a fixed-income strategist at the bank, to revise wider his year-end forecast for the yield spread between Italy’s 10-year bonds and German bunds.
Attfield now forecasts the spread will expand to 300 basis points by the end of 2018, compared with a previous prediction of 230 basis points, made on August 7. The earlier forecast was predicated on the assumption that Italy’s budget would be “less concerning to the market than initially feared.” The yield spread was around 280 basis points. Still, the premium will shrink to 200 basis points by the end of 2019 on the assumption that the sovereign debt is expected “to continue trading far from any ‘fair value’ level for its rating,” Attfield wrote in a note.

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