LONDON, March 9 (Reuters) - Italy’s government bond yields soared on coronavirus fears in early Monday trade, after the country ordered a virtual lockdown across much of its wealthy northern region.
The number of coronavirus cases spiked over the weekend, with both new infections and the death rate showing their largest daily increase since the start of the outbreak.
Short-end bonds took the biggest hit. Italian two-year yields jumped as much as 56 basis points to 0.646%, the highest since June 2019. It was last up 44 basis points at 0.50%
Italy’s 10-year yield jumped 24 basis points to 1.32%, its highest since late January.
That pushed the gap between Italy and Germany’s 10-year yields - a key measure of risk on the latter - above 200 bps for the first time since August 2019.
In contrast to Italy, yields on German government bonds slid once again as investors dived into safe-haven assets.
Germany’s benchmark 10-year Bund yield fell to a new record low at -0.863% and was last down 13 bps on the day. (Reporting by Yoruk Bahceli and Dhara Ranasinghe)