By Stefano Rebaudo
(Reuters) -Euro zone government bond yields fell sharply on Monday on expectations that the European Central Bank (ECB) might be on top of surging inflation and signs of weakening data tempered interest rate-hike bets.
British government bond yields fell after British Prime Minister Liz Truss was forced to reverse course on a tax cut that rattled markets over the past week, while U.S. yields fell after data that showed U.S. manufacturing activity in September was the slowest in nearly 2-1/2 years.
That added to downward pressure on euro zone yields in late trade.
Germany's 10-year bond yield, the bloc's benchmark, slid 22 basis points (bps) to its lowest since Sept. 22 at 1.89%, its biggest daily fall since March 1. The U.S. 10-Year Treasury yield was down 22 bps to 3.59%. "There is a more worried tone with regards to systemic risks and so hopes of more cautious central banks," said Antoine Bouvet, senior rates strategist at ING. "The miss in German manufacturing PMIs also adds to that gloomy picture." Manufacturing activity across the euro zone declined further last month as a growing cost of living crisis left consumers wary while soaring energy bills limited production, a survey showed on Monday.
UK 2-year gilt yields fell 26 bps to 3.97% and 10-year yields tumbled 19 bps to 3.92%, after the plans to cut the highest rate of income tax were reversed.
"Gilts are no longer in the spotlight. The main issue for the euro area is still inflation," said Massimiliano Maxia, senior fixed income specialist at Allianz Global Investors.
A key market gauge of long-term inflation expectations, fell to 2.067%, its lowest since mid-August.
"We think that September might have marked the peak for euro area inflation, as both Germany and the Netherlands introduced policies that will have a material near-term downward impact on utility prices," Morgan Stanley analysts said.
Spanish and French inflation slowed unexpectedly in September, bucking the trend in the wider euro zone.
The ECB's euro short-term rate (ESTR) forward for November 2023 was at around 2.7%, after rising above 3% to 3.158% on Tuesday last week.
Italy's 10-year bond yield was down 28 bps at 4.23% and set for its biggest one-day fall since mid-June.
Investors will also closely watch data on Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP) bond reinvestments due later this week. The numbers previously showed significant support for the peripheral bond markets in July after Italy’s government led by Mario Draghi collapsed.
(Reporting by Stefano Rebaudo, additional reporting by Dhara Ranasinghe; editing by Andrew Heavens, Kirsten Donovan and Jonathan Oatis)