Italian bond spread drops to 322

Yield falls to 4.57%

Italian bond spread drops to 322

Rome, December 13 - The spread between 10-year Italian bonds and the German benchmark dropped by over seven basis points to 322.7 in early trading on Thursday. This was thanks to a fall in the yield to 4.57% from 4.64% at closing on Wednesday. The spread is a key measure of Italy's borrowing costs and of investor confidence. The news that European finance ministers have reached a agreement on rules for supervising eurozone banks, a move considered crucial for solving the zone's debt crisis, may have helped lower the spread. The spread had spiked above 360 points on Monday after Premier Mario Monti announced at the weekend he would quit when the 2013 budget law is approved. The announcement, which came after Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party withdrew its support and the ex-premier said he would stand for office again, sparked concern about whether Italy would continue with Monti's policies of economic reform and fiscal discipline. But some calm has returned to bond markets since. Berlusconi announced a partial change of position on Wednesday, saying he would not stand if Monti agreed to head a new conservative coalition at February elections.

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