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Ireland moves to launch 10-year bond auction for first time since 2010

Ireland may sell as many as €3.0 billion worth of 10-year bonds, perhaps as soon as today even, marking a new chapter in the financial recovery for the country. Ireland’s National Treasury Management Agency noted yesterday it hired Barclays Plc (BARC), Danske Bank A/S (DANSKE), Davy Stockbrokers, HSBC Holdings Plc, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Nomura Holdings Inc. as joint lead-managers for the transaction, “details of which will be announced in due course.” The bond was priced to yield 245 basis points over mid-swaps, a fixed- market benchmark.

The bond, which will be issued “subject to market conditions,” will mature in March 2023, the agency said, without giving any further information. Ireland will issue €2.0-3.0 billion of debt in the sale. Indeed, the sale is the latest step by Ireland to return to international bond markets as it exits from a bailout program at the end of this year. The NTMA last issued 10-year bonds in 2010. In November of that year, the Irish government asked for a €67.5 billion international rescue, roiling domestic credit markets.

“This represents an important milestone in the country’s re-engagement with the bond market,” said Philip O’Sullivan, an economist at NCB Stockbrokers in a note. “Today’s launch of new 10 year issuance could have important ramifications for Ireland’s credit rating.”

Forex Flash: US February consumer spending and retail sales to improve – TD Securities

TD Securities analysts expect US February consumer spending to advance strongly and better than expected retail sales, as well: “The surge in gasoline prices should push total consumer spending up sharply in February, and we expect retail sales to rise at an above consensus 0.8% m/m”, wrote analyst Alvin Pontoh, looking for stronger autos to bolster the top line, and sales ex-autos are expected to rise at a slightly more modest 0.7% m/m pace (consensus 0.5%).
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Forex Flash: UK declines in rates and credit justifies further easing – Goldman Sachs

The sharp fall in real rates and decline in sterling in recent weeks has put the UK in focus. These factors combined with a decline in credit spreads have lead to a marked easing in UK financial conditions. “The combination of sluggish growth, significant spare capacity and weak inflationary pressures will be sufficient to justify further easing.” argues the Economics Research Team at Goldman Sachs.
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