Germany sold 4.2 billion euros of new two-year debt at record low cost on Wednesday as investors nervous over Spain’s fiscal frailty showed a healthy appetite for the low-risk bonds.
The strong auction showed Berlin could still raise money at ultra-low rates and with relative ease thanks to its safe-haven status against the uncertain backdrop of the euro zone’s 2 1/2-year-old debt crisis.
The final offering of the March 2014 bond sold at an average yield of 0.14 per cent, falling below the previous record of 0.17 per cent seen at a sale in January.
“It’s a strong auction indeed, both looking at the pricing levels but also the aggregate demand,” said Michael Leister, strategist at DZ Bank in Frankfurt.
“The safety both in terms of credit quality and also liquidity of Bunds, especially of the short end of the German curve, proves to be what investors are looking for these days with the debt crisis staging a comeback.”
German yields have been driven to rock bottom by demand for secure and liquid assets after a recent escalation of the crisis on doubts Spain can restore health to its public finances.
Despite the low yields, the auction attracted bids worth 1.8 time the amount on offer — in line with the average seen at previous sales of two-year debt this year.