REFILE-UPDATE 2-Austria follows Italy as governments resume ultra-long issuance

(Removes repeated data on Austria)

* Austria to sell 50-year bond, following Italy

* Spain to sell 15-year bond

* Bond yields rise as investors digest the issuance

April 13 (Reuters) – Austria moved on Tuesday to lock in current low borrowing costs with a 50-year bond, hot on the heels of a half-century issue from Italy, while Spain launched 15-year paper.

Both deals were placed via bank syndicates, with Austria set to raise 1.75 billion euros and Spain six billion euros, according to lead manager memos seen by Reuters.

The Austrian bond and last week’s Italian issue mark a resumption in ultra long-dated, 50-year issuance.

After a strong start to the year with 50-year sales from France, Spain and Belgium, a bond sell-off driven by expectations of higher growth and inflation saddled buyers of those bonds with losses and such issuance died down.

“European investors are still hanging on to the lower-for-longer narrative and therefore there is no fear on their part of buying very long-dated bonds because there is no fear of a regime change in the growth and inflation dynamics,” said Antoine Bouvet, senior rates strategist at ING.

“It is true that rates have moved higher, but in the grand scheme of things they are still fairly low.”

The European Central Bank has calmed markets by increasing the pace of its asset purchases.

Ultra-long dated bonds are seen among the riskiest debt governments issue, as they are more sensitive to a change in underlying interest rates. Also, the ECB, which pins down euro area borrowing costs, does not buy bonds longer than 30 years.

Austria saw 13 billion euros of demand and Spain 42 billion euros as both books shrank after the governments cut the yield on offer.

That’s well below the 65 billion euros in bids Madrid received for a 50-year deal in February and 18 billion euros for Austria’s 100-year bond last year.

Bouvet said lower demand may be down to this year’s broad rise in yields which means investors such as pension funds have less need to buy long-dated bonds. Some governments are also trying to weed out bidders they believe to be submitting inflated orders

Euro area bond yields barely moved on data showing U.S. inflation rose 2.6% year-on-year in March, marginally above forecasts.

But heavy supply pressured markets, with Germany’s 10-year yield at a nearly a two-week high at -0.271% and Italy’s 10-year yields at their highest in over a month at 0.78%.

Investors were also digesting bond supply from the Netherlands, Italy, Britain and a $24 billion sale of 30-year U.S bonds, all sold at auction.

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