Spain has followed Italy into the bond market again in an effort to obtain financing and help save the country from default. The iShares MSCI Spain ETF (EWP) has many challenges ahead as the government gets creative in the credit crisis.
A Spanish bond auction saw weak demand on Thursday despite the European Central Bank’s presence in the secondary market, The Wall Street Journal reported. The ECB began purchasing Spanish bonds last month.
Italy took to the bond markets again, with about 8 billion euros of bonds falling on weak demand. As borrowing costs are still high in Spain, the country tested market appetite for 4 billion euros worth of a new five-year bond, reports Nigel Davies for Reuters. [European ETFs Stabilize After Big Drop]
“The key will be for Spain to show it still has access to bond markets. So for that reason the simple amount raised will be an indication of how it goes, and I would expect the Treasury to sell close to the 4 billion mark,” said David Schnautz for Commerzbank in London, on Reuters. [Italy, Spain ETFs Back in Debt Vise]
The ECB will keep yields on the bond at lower levels than expected. The bank has bought about 43 billion euros worth of debt since the bond-buying system was used.
Analysts say Spain cannot afford a borrowing cost over 7% for some time without being forced to fall on a bailout like Greece. Yields on Spains’ 10- year debt rose above 6% last month, but have settled around 5% for the time being.
iShares MSCI Spain ETF
click to enlarge
Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article.