Italian Bond Yields Rise Ahead of Key Parliamentary Election


© Reuters

By Scott Kanowsky 

Investing.com — Yields on Italian debt rose on Friday ahead of a watershed election that, according to the latest polls, may see a new far-right coalition take power in both houses of parliament in Rome.

As of 10:37 GMT (06:37 EST), the yield on the benchmark had jumped to 4.277% after it closed the previous day at 4.191%. The has also touched as high as 3.038% in Friday trading. Bond prices typically fall as yields increase.

Campaigning before Sunday’s vote is now in its final stages, with polling group Termometro Politico suggesting that many Italians will give their support to one of the country’s most right-wing governments since World War II.

At its helm is predicted to be Giorgia Meloni, the firebrand president of the nationalist ‘Brothers of Italy’ party, which is expected to garner 25.2% of the vote. The bloc would also include populist leader Matteo Salvini’s ‘League’ and former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s ‘Forza Italia’ parties.

Meloni has vowed to place stricter curbs on immigration and slash taxes. She has also promised to widely adhere to EU budget policies to ensure that Italy receives crucial tranches of a €200B aid package from Brussels.

However, analysts have expressed concerns that the coalition’s likely members may not follow these rules, which were crafted by outgoing prime minister Mario Draghi in order to secure the funding.

Rome will need to meet 55 new policy targets in order to receive the next round of payments in December. Without the funds, the expected coalition could struggle to revive growth, especially in an environment of sharply rising interest rates that increase the cost of servicing Italy’s huge debt burden. Debt in relation to gross domestic product in the country has ballooned to 151% and may grow even further without the EU’s cash injections.

Despite her pledge to stick to Draghi’s stated reform criteria, Meloni has previously suggested that she could call for revisions to the EU aid program, citing a recent spike in oil prices. Analysts at Teneo noted that while a Meloni government is unlikely to butt heads with Brussels, its plans for the Italian economy will create “some friction” with the EU.