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Spread closes seven points up at 215

Yield up to 3.86% from 3.82%

23 January, 18:40
Spread closes seven points up at 215 (ANSA) - Rome, January 23 - The spread between Italian 10-year bonds and their AAA-rated German equivalents, the premium investors pay to hold Italian paper, closed seven points up at 215 Thursday, keeping close to its lowest since Italy risked sparking a euro crisis in late 2011.

The yield was 3.86%, up from 3.82% Wednesday.

A narrower spread indicates greater investor confidence in the Italian economy and Rome's ability to pay down its huge debt.

Analysts said investors were responding to poor Chinese economic figures and fears that domestic political infighting could imperil structural reforms as Italy's left-right government embarks on a revamped agenda after a contested deal on a new election law to bring greater stability.

European markets posted mostly minimal changes after a recent string of gains on optimism that the US economy is strong enough to withstand the gradual withdrawal of monetary stimulus.

The Milan bourse closed 0.72% down as banking stocks weakened again.

London was 0.78% down, Frankfurt 0.92% down, Paris 1.02% down and Madrid 0.37% down.

Athens bucked the trend again, though less than recently, by gaining 0.03%.