Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- The cost of insuring against default on European sovereign and corporate debt fell, according to traders of credit-default swaps.
The Markit iTraxx SovX Western Europe Index of swaps on 15 governments declined five basis points to 320 at 3:30 p.m. in London. A decrease signals improvement in perceptions of credit quality.
Contracts on the Markit iTraxx Crossover Index of 50 companies with mostly high-yield credit ratings decreased 23 basis points to 746, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.
The Markit iTraxx Europe Index of 125 companies with investment-grade ratings fell 5.5 basis points to 173.5 basis points. The Markit iTraxx Financial Index linked to senior debt of 25 banks and insurers decreased eight basis points to 233 and the subordinated index declined 16 to 468.
A basis point on a credit-default swap protecting 10 million euros ($13.7 million) of debt from default for five years is equivalent to 1,000 euros a year. Swaps pay the buyer face value in exchange for the underlying securities or the cash equivalent should a borrower fail to adhere to its debt agreements.
--Editor: Michael Shanahan
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