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Interest rates fall sharply as Spain sells $6 bln

MADRID (AP) -- Spain beat its target for raising money in its latest bond auction in the latest sign that investors are confident the government can manage its finances and avoid a bailout.

The Treasury Thursday sold a total of 4.57 billion euros ($6 billion) in bonds at sharply lower rates — its maximum target was 4.5 billion euros. The auction sold 1.86 billion euros in three-year bonds, 1.55 billion euros in five-year bonds, and 1.16 billion euros in bonds maturing in 2026.

Recession-stricken Spain's borrowing costs have plunged in recent months owing to the government's deficit-reduction program and a pledge of help from the European Central Bank to buy up unlimited amounts of short-term bonds in countries.