ECONOMY

November bond trading soars to a record 57 million euros

The total value of trading in the secondary market for government bonds rose to a record 57 million euros (19.3 billion drachmas ) in November, according to Bank of Greece data released yesterday. Government bond prices fell, in line with international trends. The average daily value of trading almost doubled in November to 2.58 million euros from 1.34 billion in October. The average for the 10 months January to October was 1 billion. Purchases and sales were almost equal, at 49.36 and 50.64 percent of orders executed respectively. Investors’ interest was stronger for long-term bonds (with remaining duration of more than five years). Such purchases represented 59.54 percent of the total. The Greek market was influenced by the intense volatility of prices in the international bond markets, where a correction took place after the October rally, said the central bank’s press release. Favorable developments in the war against the Taleban in Afghanistan boosted investors’ optimism for a return to normalcy in global markets. However, contradictory data made it more difficult to make predictions about the European and the US economy and the likelihood of a further easing of monetary policy by the respective central banks. After a number of liquidations early on, the market partly recovered in the last days of last month. Prices declined by between 28 and 142 basis points, particularly of five-year (111 bps) and seven-year (142 bps) bonds. The benchmark 10-year bond closed at 102.63 (4.95 percent return) in November, against 103.59 (4.87 percent) in October. EU-harmonized inflation, the figure used by the European Union in its calculations, slowed to 3.2 percent from 4 percent.