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updated: 8/30/2011 7:30 AM

Italian borrowing rates drop in 10-year bond sale

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Associated Press

MILAN -- Italian borrowing rates dropped in a pair of bond sales that easily raised (euro) 6.739 billion ($9.76 billion), thanks largely to the European Central Bank's program to buy government debt.

Investors demanded interest rates of 5.22 percent to lend the Italian government some (euro) 4.759 in 10-year bonds, down from 5.77 percent in a similar auction last month. The Treasury's debt sale on Tuesday was oversubscribed 1.27 times.

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Borrowing rates for three-year bonds dropped to 3.87 percent, from 4.8 percent last month.

Italy's borrowing rates -- both on the primary and secondary market -- have eased since the ECB on Aug. 8 began buying bonds of some eurozone countries to stem the worsening debt crisis.

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