Italy's spread down, markets lukewarm across Europe

Yield stays put at 5.89%

Italy's spread down, markets lukewarm across Europe

(ANSA) - Rome, August 9 - There was little movement on European markets Thursday while the spread between 10-year Italian bonds and the German benchmark dropped to 439 basis points with a yield of 5.89%. The spread, an important indicator of market faith in Italy's ability to make it through the eurozone debt crisis, closed at 448 points on Wednesday with a yield of 5.89%. The pressure has eased on Italian bonds slightly in recent days as many investors expect the European Central Bank to intervene on the money markets to try to bring down the borrowing costs of countries at the centre of the crisis, such as Italy and Spain, in the near future. The European Central Bank said on Thursday that the eurozone debt crisis has had a big impact on the credit risks of companies in the area, with Italian firms hit particularly hard. "The overall increase in uncertainty was accompanied by a sharp deterioration in markets' assessments of firms' credit risk, as measured, for instance, by expected default frequencies," the ECB said in its monthly bulletin. It added that the interest rates that the countries at the centre of the eurozone debt crisis are currently paying are "unacceptable" and stressed that single currency is here to stay. Markets were lukewarm across Europe. The Milan bourse lost 0.08% to close at 14,654 points. London's Ftse 100 gained 0.1% to close at 5,851. The Paris CAC 40 index gained 0.54% and closed at 3,456. Frankfurt's DAX index lost 0.02% to close virtually unmoved at 6,964 points.

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