Spain’s borrowing costs soar as Portugal faces rating cut

SPAIN’S borrowing costs soared again yesterday at an auction of short-dated bonds, while the cost of Portuguese borrowing jumped after Moody’s put the country’s debt on review for a downgrade.

Spain sold €3.9bn euros of three and six-month bills and was forced to pay interest of 1.8 per cent and 2.6 per cent respectively. Both rates were up on the country’s last short-dated auction, just a month ago, when it paid 1.7 per cent and 2.1 per cent for equivalent loans.

The yield on Portuguese ten-year notes, meanwhile, leapt over 6.55 per cent from 6.48 per cent after Moody’s warned that it has put the country’s debt on review for a downgrade A1 long-term and Prime-1 short-term government bond ratings on review for possible downgrade, warning that “the rating could be adjusted downwards by a notch or two” within the next three months.

Moody’s cited Portugal’s growing borrowing costs as one of the reasons for the review, which will take three months, and said that the country’s long-term growth prospects are hampered by the immediate need for fiscal cuts. The ratings agency said: "Fiscal consolidation and private sector deleveraging mean its outlook may no longer be consistent with an A1 rating.”