Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- The cost of insuring against default on European corporate debt fell, according to traders of credit- default swaps.
Contracts on the Markit iTraxx Crossover Index of 50 companies with mostly high-yield credit ratings decreased 28 basis points to 787.5, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. at 2:30 p.m. in London. A decline signals improvement in perceptions of credit quality.
The Markit iTraxx Europe Index of 125 companies with investment-grade ratings fell 6.25 basis points to 185.25 basis points. The Markit iTraxx Financial Index linked to senior debt of 25 banks and insurers decreased 19 basis points to 314 and the subordinated index dropped 22 to 561.5.
The Markit iTraxx SovX Western Europe Index of swaps on 15 governments declined seven basis points to 376 basis points.
A basis point on a credit-default swap protecting 10 million euros ($13 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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