Cost of insuring against default of Europe junk bonds jumps

·1 min read

LONDON, March 13 (Reuters) - The cost of insuring exposure to European junk bonds on Monday posted its biggest-one jump in three months as concerns about the banking sector gripped financial markets, hurting risky assets.

The spread on the iTraxx European Crossover index, which measures the cost of insuring exposure to a basket of sub-investment-grade European companies, surged 36 basis points (bps) from Friday's close to 460 bps and hit its highest since early January.

The iTraxx Europe sub financials index jumped 30 bps from Friday's close to 194 bps, its highest since Dec. 20.

Separately, the cost of insuring against a Credit Suisse debt default rose to a new all-time high at 466 bps, up 49 bps from Friday's close.

European stocks closed down over 2% as the collapse of startup-focused Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank sparked worries about broader banking sector contagion.

Bank shares closed 5.65% lower. Credit Suisse ended down 9%, having hit record lows earlier in the day.

(Reporting by Chiara Elisei)