Earlier today Portugal had a deplorable bond auction of €1 billion in 12 month Bills, which saw the interest rate paid jump to nearly 4.5% even as general demand indicated by Bid to Cover plunge from 3.1 to 2.2. And even so, the bulk of the purchasing was from Asia, read China, as the last thing Japan needs now is to rescue a insolvent Portugal, according to a finance minister disclosure. From Reuters: "The 12-month T-bill yield rose to 4.331 percent from 4.057 percent in an auction on March 2, in line with analyst expectations of around 4.3 percent and with the secondary market. It also stayed below record levels seen in December." Alas, while Portugal purchased a few days of funding, it merely confirmed that it is now effectively bankrupt as paying 4.3% for 12 months worth of debt indicates the Rubicon has long been passed. Look for Portugal to be bailed out any minute. And in attempting to avoid the same fate, Belgium decided to "postpone" its own bond issuance of 6 year benchmark notes on concern investors will puke all over the paper. "Belgium delayed the sale of a new six-year benchmark bond on Tuesday due to market volatility caused by the Japan earthquake and explosions at a nuclear power station there. Plans to issue the new bond, maturing in June 2017, were announced on Monday, with Deutsche Bank, KBC Bank and Morgan Stanley mandated as joint bookrunners. The markets are so volatile at the moment and attention is concentrating on what is happening in Japan," debt agency chief Anne Leclerq told Reuters." Luckily unlike Portugal which has no choice but to raise debt at every opportunity, Belgium has the choice to await greener pastures. For now.
More from Reuters:
A new 10-year benchmark issued in January by Belgium also suffered from market volatility as books were being built. Its total size of 3 billion euros ($4.2 billion) was below the normal benchmark volume of 4-5 billion euros of previous years.
The debt agency said that an auction of three- and 12-month treasury certificates would still go ahead on Tuesday.
Debt levels of almost 100 percent of gross domestic product and the failure to form a new government over almost a year have put Belgium in the firing line of investors looking for the next candidates for bailouts in Europe's debt crisis.
Alas, the recent emergency of the black swan clusterflock means that March, already Europe's cruelest month before the whole MENA fiasco and Japan catastrophe, simply means very soon Europe will metamorphosize into merely the latest outlier black bird.