Borrowing costs in Germany, the euro zone’s benchmark bond issuer, dipped on Monday to their lowest level in over a week as latest data from the world’s biggest economies cast a shadow over the growth outlook.
The Taliban’s seizure of power in Afghanistan also supported bond markets, seen as a safe haven at times of geopolitical uncertainty. The militants entered the capital almost unopposed on Sunday while Western nations scrambled to evacuate their citizens from an increasingly chaotic Kabul airport.
Data showed China’s factory output and retail sales growth slowed sharply and missed expectations in July, as new Covid-19 outbreaks and floods disrupted business operations.
Fresh signs that China’s economic recovery is losing momentum follows news on Friday that US consumer sentiment dropped sharply in early August to its lowest level in a decade.
This backdrop weighed on world stock markets and boosted demand for government bonds, which typically benefit from concerns about a weaker economic outlook that investors bet will encourage central banks to keep lose monetary policy in place for longer.
In early Monday trade, most 10-year bond yields across the euro area were down 1-2 basis points on the day.
Germany’s benchmark 10-year Bund yield dipped to around-0.48%, its lowest level in just over a week.
US 10-year Treasury yields also fell to their lowest in over a week and were last down 4 bps on the day at around 1.26%.
“The strengthening in US Treasuries fed into a Gilts and Bund bid, although both remain pretty tightly wrapped in well-established ranges,” analysts at Mizuho said in a note. “With the summer liquidity dearth, the market feels relatively low conviction in European rates.”