Spain raises $5 billion in healthy bond sale

Interest rates down as Spain raises $5 billion in bond sale despite Italian uncertainty

Associated Press

MADRID (AP) -- Spain has raised an above-target $5 billion (€3.9 billion) in a successful debt auction that saw interest rates drop sharply despite renewed concern about whether the country needs international help.

The Treasury said Tuesady that it sold €2.39 billion in in 12-month bills with a yield of 2.56 percent, down from 2.79 percent in the previous auction on Nov. 20. It sold €1.5 billion in 18-month bills at an average rate of 2.79 percent, down from 3.03 percent.

The Treasury had set a maximum sale target of €3.5 billion, and demand was double the amount offered.

Spain came under renewed pressure to seek help Monday as its secondary market borrowing costs — a measure of investor wariness — rose after Italian Premier Mario Monti's decision to resign caused market jitters.

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