April 1, 2019 / 9:47 AM / in 24 days

Pool of negative-yielding euro zone govt bonds hits highest since 2016 - Tradeweb data

LONDON, April 1 (Reuters) - The pool of euro zone government bonds with negative yields rose in March to almost 47 percent, its highest share since September 2016, Tradeweb data published on Monday showed.

Bond yields across major developed markets plunged in March as weak manufacturing activity data and an unexpectedly dovish tone from central banks including the European Central Bank and U.S. Federal Reserve fanned fears about economic growth.

Of around the 7.67 trillion euros ($8.62 trillion) of euro area government bonds in the Tradeweb system, about 3.58 trillion euros, or almost 47 percent, yield less than zero, Tradeweb data as of the end of March showed.

That compared with roughly 38 percent in February and was the largest share since 2016 when deflation risks and global growth worries last drove bond yields in the bloc deeply negative.

Tradeweb data showed around 26 percent of euro zone government bonds yield less than the ECB’s deposit rate of minus 0.40 percent, the highest since November 2017.

The pool of negative-yielding investment grade corporate bonds also jumped, rising to 20 percent — its highest in a year. ($1 = 0.8896 euros) (Reporting by Dhara Ranasinghe; Editing by Tommy Wilkes)

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