Rome

Italian bond spread returns to April levels

Contagion worries eased by speculation Spain to ask for bailout

Italian bond spread returns to April levels

(ANSA) - Rome, October 17 - The spread between 10-year Italian bonds and the German benchmark dropped to the lowest level since April in early trading on Wednesday, as concerns about contagion from Spain eased, with Madrid seen as close to asking for a bailout. The spread dropped to 321 basis points, after closing at 339 on Tuesday, before edging up slightly to 325 points with a yield of 4.82%, the lowest since March. The spread is an important barometer of Italy's borrowing costs and of investor faith in the country's ability to weather the eurozone crisis. The European Central Bank helped relieve the pressure last month when it announced plans to buy the bonds of countries at the centre of the eurozone crisis that are facing high borrowing costs. Maria Cannata, the Italian treasury's director-general of public debt, said that Tuesday's yield of 4.9% was "sustainable" in the long term before adding that he believed the Italian spread "could go down to 200 points".

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