* Italy-Germany spread widens as Renzi flags possible autumn
* Yields drop after Draghi flies flag for extraordinary
* Concerns over Europe-U.S. relations makes for jittery open
* Euro zone periphery govt bond yields: tmsnrt.rs/2ii2Bqr
(Adds Draghi comments, updates prices)
By Abhinav Ramnarayan
LONDON, May 29 Italian government bond yields
shot up on Monday as investors fretted over the possibility of
parliamentary elections being held as early as this autumn after
comments from former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
Euro zone bond yields initially inched higher on Monday, but
a cautious note struck by the region's top policymaker, Mario
Draghi, dragged them back in the afternoon and 10-year German
government bond yields hit a one-month low.
The one constant throughout was the higher spread between
Italian and German 10-year borrowing costs, wider 10 basis
points at one point to a two-week high of 186 basis points.
Renzi said on Sunday that it makes sense "from a European
perspective" for Italy's next election be held at the same time
as Germany's, scheduled for September, raising the prospect of
what ING strategist Martin van Vliet described as "the last big
political risk event in the euro zone".
Investors have been worried about the rise of anti-euro
party 5-Star Movement, which has led some polls recently, and
what it might mean for Italy's future in the single currency
bloc. Polls at the moment point towards a hung parliament.
Italian government bond yields jumped 10 bps at one stage,
and though they fell back another 4 bps as the session wore on,
it was still the outlier as most other euro zone bond yields
were lower on the day by afternoon trading.
Italian stocks also underperformed on the day, particularly
the banking sector.
Though Van Vliet said that investors had woken up to the
possibility of an Italian election in the autumn, he added that
there is heightened market volatility with U.S. and UK investors
on holiday on Monday.
"You could easily see this move reversing tomorrow when
everyone is back," he said.
The session started on Monday with lower-rated southern
European government yields rising after German Chancellor Angela
Merkel warned of worsening relations between Europe and some of
its allies, in particular the United States and Britain.
As the session wore on, however, the focus shifted from
politics to policy, particularly after Draghi said the ECB
remains firmly convinced that extraordinary monetary policy
support is still necessary.
The yield on Germany's 10-year government bond
, flat up to this point, then dropped 2.5 basis
points to a one-month low of 0.31 percent.
Other high-rated euro zone bond yields were also lower 1-2
bps on the day.
Yields on Germany's 10-year bond have fallen in recent weeks
from the mid-May peak of 0.46 percent as policymakers have
played down the possibility of a sharp shift from ultra-loose
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(Reporting by Abhinav Ramnarayan; Editing by Andrew Bolton)