Belfast Telegraph

Spain and Italy's debt auctions are boost for market

Spain and Italy gave financial markets a boost as they successfully raised nearly €22bn (£18.37bn) in two keenly watched debt auctions that showed renewed investor confidence in the countries' attempts to get a grip on their debt problems.

Spain sold nearly €10bn (£8.35bn) in auctions of bonds maturing in 2015 and 2016, with demand strong and the amount sold double the maximum sought. Italy saw its borrowing costs drop sharply as it sold €12bn (£10bn) in what was also its first test of market sentiment this year.

Both debt-laden countries have been the focus of worries that they might be dragged further into the crisis threatening the 17 countries that use the euro as their currency that has already forced Greece, the Republic of Ireland and Italy to seek billions in bailout money.

Buyers also took €8.5 billion (£7.1bn) in 12-month Italian bonds at a yield of 2.735%, sharply down from last month's rate of 5.95%.

Market reaction in both countries was good.

In the secondary market, where issued bonds are then traded openly, the yield for Italy's benchmark 10-year bond dropped to 6.6% from around 7%, a perilous level that forced other eurozone nations to seek bailouts.

€22bn

The amount raised by Spain and Italy in two debt auctions