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Euro zone yields near lows post Fed, focus on inflation, ECB

·2 min read

* Euro zone periphery govt bond yields http://tmsnrt.rs/2ii2Bqr

By Yoruk Bahceli

July 29 (Reuters) - Euro zone bond yields held near recent lows on Thursday as a dovish tone from the U.S. Federal Reserve underpinned global bond markets, while attention turned to inflation data and the European Central Bank.

The Federal Reserve flagged ongoing discussions around the eventual withdrawal of monetary policy support but gave no details on when it is likely to reduce bond purchases. And commentary from chairman Jerome Powell at a news conference sent Treasury yields lower.

In the euro area, Germany's 10-year yield, the benchmark for the bloc, touched a new lowest level since February at -0.458% and was down less than a basis point by 0710 GMT to -0.45%.

"The Federal Reserve's latest policy decision proved to be a much tamer event than the last meeting as far as markets were concerned, with Treasury yields only seeing a modest decline and equities remaining unchanged for the most part," said Jim Reid, global head of thematic research at Deutsche Bank.

Focus is now on flash inflation data.

Spain's July EU-harmonised consumer prices index rising to 2.9% year-on-year from 2.5% in June, in line with expectations.

More important, however, is the bloc's leading economy, Germany. Following state-level data releases, the first of which from North Rhine-Westphalia showed a 4.1% yearly increase, the national reading at 1200 GMT is expected to show a 3.3% annual increase, according to a Reuters poll.

"For today's inflation numbers from Europe we see some upside risks, but if readings above 3% were to cheapen Bund there's potential for a buying opportunity," Mizuho analysts told clients.

"The risk would be for more pushback on the forward guidance from the ECB hawks (with political motivations), but the market should still view the new strategy as credible for now," they added.

Focus is also on the European Central Bank at 1130 GMT, when it will publish the accounts for its July meeting, the first after it adopted a symmetrical inflation target that will see it keep interest rates at record lows for longer.

"We are most interested in the discussion regarding the two most important, and likely controversial, topics, namely the flexibility of the policy tools and the scope for inflation overshooting," UniCredit analysts told clients.

"In the final statement, the message on both was left intentionally vague, reflecting the need to reach unanimous support from a split governing council," they added. (Reporting by Yoruk Bahceli; Editing by Joe Bavier)