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A gauge of U.S. corporate credit risk rose for a third day, reaching the highest in six months, as concern mounts that the Federal Reserve will start scaling back record bond-buying that has bolstered debt markets.

The Markit CDX North American Investment Grade Index, a credit-default swaps benchmark that investors use to hedge against losses or to speculate on creditworthiness, increased 1.8 basis points to a mid-price of 94.9 basis points at 12:34 p.m. in New York, according to prices compiled by Bloomberg. The gauge, trading at the highest level since December, has surged 10.8 basis points since June 14, heading for its biggest weekly increase since May 2012, excluding rolls into new series.

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