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Rates down as Spain sells $5.2 billion in bonds

MADRID (AP) -- Spain has raised €4 billion ($5.2 billion) in short-term debt at a lower cost, in a further reflection of growing investor confidence in the government's handling of the economy.

The Treasury said Tuesday it sold €2.26 billion in nine-month bills at a rate of 1.01 percent, down from 1.14 percent in the last such auction Feb. 19.

It sold €1.73 billion in three-month bills at a yield of 0.29 percent, compared with 0.42 percent last month.

The amount sold met the Treasury's target while demand was more than double the total offered.

Spain's borrowing costs have dropped in recent months with investors less wary since European authorities announced the country would be helped, if needed, to handle its debt.

The economy is stuck in recession, however, with 26 percent unemployment.