* Euro zone periphery govt bond yields tmsnrt.rs/2ii2Bqr
LONDON, March 24 (Reuters) – Germany’s benchmark 10-year bond yield fell to a five-week low on Wednesday, a sign of growing unease over the euro zone’s economic outlook amid tighter restrictions to contain a fresh wave of COVID-19.
Across the single-currency bloc, 10-year bond yields fell 2-3 basis points as investors returned to safe-haven bond markets.
France has reintroduced lockdowns and Germany has extended its lockdown to April 18. Signs of a pick-up in the pace of the European Central Bank’s bond purchases may also help explain this week’s move lower in bond yields.
“While Bund yields may struggle to break below the current range the refocus on the domestic pandemic front against a backdrop of increased ECB buying – even if only moderately so – can contribute to keeping yields lower for now,” said Benjamin Schroeder, senior rates strategist at ING.
Germany’s 10-year Bund yield fell to -0.375%, its lowest level in five weeks. It is down around 7 bps so far this week.
Germany is due to auction 4 billion euros of 10-year bonds later in the day.
Focus meanwhile turned to the release of the flash purchasing managers index in euro area states.
France’s flash composite PMI rose to 49.5 in March from a final reading of 47 in February, data showed.
While the PMI data is regarded as a forward-looking economic indicator, latest releases may have a muted market impact, given that a renewed spike in coronavirus cases and tighter restrictions are likely to weigh on economic activity going forward, analysts said. (Reporting by Dhara Ranasinghe Editing by Gareth Jones)