Italian Bonds Getting Hammered
By William L. Watts
FRANKFURT (MarketWatch.com) -- Italian government bonds were hammered Friday on worries about the potential exit of Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti, analysts said. Tremonti on Friday said he moved out of an apartment provided by a former aide and member of parliament whose arrest is sought by prosecutors, Bloomberg reported. Also, news reports highlighted an ongoing rift between Tremonti and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. The yield on 10-year Italian government bonds jumped 22 basis points to trade at around 5.33% in recent action, according to FactSet Research. The spread on five-year Italian credit default swaps, or CDS, widened by 24 basis points to 243 basis points, according to data provider Markit. That means it would now cost $243,000 annually to insure $10 million of Italian government debt against default, up from $219,000 on Thursday. Shares of bank UniCredit SpA were briefly suspended and then resumed trading on the Milan Stock Exchange. The temporary suspension came after UniCredit's shares fell sharply.