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European credit CDS jumps as Fed-speak spooks markets

European credit CDS jumps as Fed-speak spooks markets
European credit CDS jumps as Fed-speak spooks markets   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2022
By Reuters

– The cost of insuring exposure to corporate bonds surged on Wednesday as stock markets tumbled on worries of aggressive U.S. rate hikes hurting growth and further Western sanctions on Russia stoking inflation.

The spread on the iTraxx European Crossover index, which measure the cost of insuring against defaults on bonds issued by a basket of sub-investment-grade European companies surged as much as 17 bps on the day to 361 bps, the highest in over a week.

The index spread has surged around 30 bps over the last two sessions, undoing more than a third of the spread tightening that followed a sharp selloff after the invasion of Ukraine.

The index spread had peaked at nearly 430 bps at the start of March, but had fallen over 100 bps to 324 bps by month-end.

Similarly, the spread on the iTraxx Europe index, which measures the cost of insuring against default on investment-grade corporate bonds, rose 3 bps to 76 bps, the highest in over a week.