The ECB will not abide by markets The ECB will not abide by markets The ECB will not abide by markets

The ECB will not abide by markets

Althea Spinozzi

Senior Fixed Income Strategist

Summary:  We believe that the market is ahead of itself regarding ECB's interest rate hikes expectations. The ECB will most likely keep open the possibility to become less accommodative if inflation remains sustained. Still, it will discard interest rate hikes until 2023. It means short-term rates might tumble, forcing the EUR lower. Don't be fooled: positive German yields will soon be a reality across the yield curve as the central banks prepare to normalize monetary policy. Italian government bonds' honeymoon is over as market volatility remains sustained. We expect the BTPS-Bund spread to widen before resuming its decennial tightening trend.

This week, the market has advanced interest rate expectations in Europe. Money markets began to price 9bps of ECB tightening for July, sending shockwaves in the European sovereign space. Two-year German yields rose above the ECB deposit rate of -0.5% for the first time since 2015, in a sign that tomorrow Lagarde will lean against a rate hike in 2022. To foster such suspicions were the higher-than-expected inflation numbers released this week which showed a monthly pick up of 0.9% in Germany and Eurozone inflation rising to 5.1% YoY.

Source: Bloomberg and Saxo Group.

The ECB finds itself in a challenging position ahead of tomorrow's monetary policy meeting. On one side, it will want to retain the option open to fighting inflation. On the other hand, it needs to avoid igniting a deeper selloff in rates markets.

Therefore, the central bank is trapped. With the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England advancing with aggressive monetary policies this year, the euro area's yields will also rise. Additionally, the PEPP program is ending in March, pulling even more economic support and applying upward pressure to rates. That would cause a natural tightening of financing conditions in the euro area, which the ECB would want to monitor.

Therefore we’ll probably see Lagarde pushing back against a rate hike this year, disappointing on the market's hawkish expectations. We could witness a contained rally in European sovereigns, which could tumble the EUR.

Don’t be mistaken: ten-year Bund yields might have become a memory already this week. Any hawkish or dovish shift of the ECB will be mostly felt by the front part of the yield curve. However, it's undeniable that the whole German yield curve willsettle above 0% as the ECB gets ready to normalize its monetary policy. 

Source: Bloomberg and Saxo Group.

Italian government bonds’ honeymoon is over.

The celebrations for the re-election of President Mattarella were short-lived. After a modest tightening of the BTP-Bund spread on Monday, the spread resumed rising yesterday. It shows that the performance of Italian government bonds does not depend entirely on the national political situation. At this moment, they are more vulnerable to central banks’ monetary policies.

Because BTPS carry a higher beta than peers, Italian sovereigns will suffer the most as volatility in rates markets increases. Therefore, we remain constructive on our view that the BTPS-Bund spread will widen to 160bps before resuming its tightening decennial trend.

Source: Bloomberg and Saxo Group.

The Saxo Group entities each provide execution-only service and access to Analysis permitting a person to view and/or use content available on or via the website is not intended to and does not change or expand on this. Such access and use are at all times subject to (i) The Terms of Use; (ii) Full Disclaimer; (iii) The Risk Warning; (iv) the Rules of Engagement and (v) Notices applying to Saxo News & Research and/or its content in addition (where relevant) to the terms governing the use of hyperlinks on the website of a member of the Saxo Group by which access to Saxo News & Research is gained. Such content is therefore provided as no more than information. In particular no advice is intended to be provided or to be relied on as provided nor endorsed by any Saxo Group entity; nor is it to be construed as solicitation or an incentive provided to subscribe for or sell or purchase any financial instrument. All trading or investments you make must be pursuant to your own unprompted and informed self-directed decision. As such no Saxo Group entity will have or be liable for any losses that you may sustain as a result of any investment decision made in reliance on information which is available on Saxo News & Research or as a result of the use of the Saxo News & Research. Orders given and trades effected are deemed intended to be given or effected for the account of the customer with the Saxo Group entity operating in the jurisdiction in which the customer resides and/or with whom the customer opened and maintains his/her trading account. Saxo News & Research does not contain (and should not be construed as containing) financial, investment, tax or trading advice or advice of any sort offered, recommended or endorsed by Saxo Group and should not be construed as a record of our trading prices, or as an offer, incentive or solicitation for the subscription, sale or purchase in any financial instrument. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, would be considered as a marketing communication under relevant laws.

Please read our disclaimers:
- Notification on Non-Independent Investment Research (
- Full disclaimer (

None of the information contained here constitutes an offer to purchase or sell a financial instrument, or to make any investments. Saxo does not take into account your personal investment objectives or financial situation and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the information nor for any loss arising from any investment made in reliance of this presentation. Any opinions made are subject to change and may be personal to the author. These may not necessarily reflect the opinion of Saxo or its affiliates.

Saxo Capital Markets HK Limited
19th Floor
Shanghai Commercial Bank Tower
12 Queen’s Road Central
Hong Kong

Contact Saxo

Select region

Hong Kong S.A.R
Hong Kong S.A.R

Saxo Capital Markets HK Limited (“Saxo”) is a company authorised and regulated by the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong. Saxo holds a Type 1 Regulated Activity (Dealing in Securities); Type 2 Regulated Activity (Dealing in Futures Contract); Type 3 Regulated Activity (Leveraged Foreign Exchange Trading); Type 4 Regulated Activity (Advising on Securities) and Type 9 Regulated Activity (Asset Management) licenses (CE No. AVD061). Registered address: 19th Floor, Shanghai Commercial Bank Tower, 12 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong.

Trading in financial instruments carries various risks, and is not suitable for all investors. Please seek expert advice, and always ensure that you fully understand these risks before trading. Trading in leveraged products may result in your losses exceeding your initial deposits. Saxo does not provide financial advice, any information available on this website is ‘general’ in nature and for informational purposes only. Saxo does not take into account an individual’s needs, objectives or financial situation. Please click here to view the relevant risk disclosure statements.

The Saxo trading platform has received numerous awards and recognition. For details of these awards and information on awards visit

The information or the products and services referred to on this site may be accessed worldwide, however is only intended for distribution to and use by recipients located in countries where such use does not constitute a violation of applicable legislation or regulations. Products and services offered on this website are not directed at, or intended for distribution to or use by, any person or entity residing in the United States and Japan. Please click here to view our full disclaimer.

Apple, iPad and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the US and other countries. AppStore is a service mark of Apple Inc. Android is a trademark of Google Inc.