Higher Bond Yields, Contagion Fears Weigh on EU Peripheral Country ETFs | ETF Trends

Peripheral Eurozone markets, along with related country-specific exchange traded funds, are retreating as public discontent on austerity measures fuels another round of debt concerns, with bond yields rising again.

Heightening the recent concerns, Spain’s municipal and regional elections held Sunday added to government debt risks as the upstart anti-austerity party gained momentum, reports Alen Mattich for the Wall Street Journal.

With unease over the Eurozone’s austerity measures mounting, bonds in the region were selling off. The 10-year Greece bond yield rose 51 basis points to 11.88% Tuesday, 10-year Portugal bond yields was up 11 basis points to 2.54%, 10-year Spanish bond yields were 3 basis points higher to 1.87% and yields on 10-year Italy debt increased 8 basis points to 1.94%. The yield and bond price have an inverse relationship, so a rising yield corresponds with falling prices.

Meanwhile, the debt concerns and another round of contagion fears weighed on Eurozone markets. For instance, the SPDR EURO STOXX 50 (NYSEArca: FEZ) fell 2.7% Tuesday, and the weakening euro currency also contributed to the pullback. The euro dipped 0.9% to $1.0878 Tuesday while the CurrencyShares Euro Currency Trust (NYSEArca: FXE) was down 1.2%.

Meanwhile, peripheral Eurozone country-specific ETFs were among the worst performers. On Tuesday, the iShares MSCI Spain Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EWP) decreased 4.1%, iShares MSCI Italy Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EWI) declined 3.2%, Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (NYSEArca: GREK) fell 4.1% and Global X FTSE Portugal 20 ETF (NYSEArca: PGAL) retreated 4.8%.