Spread falls to 288 points, shade above Monti goal

Yield 4.33%, lowest since Dec 2010

Spread falls to 288 points, shade above Monti goal

Rome, January 2 - The spread between Italian 10-year bonds and the German benchmark, the key gauge of market confidence in Italy's ability to pay down its huge debt, fell to 288 points Wednesday. The outgoing government led by Premier Mario Monti had set 287 points as a landmark policy goal - exactly half the level the spread was at when Monti took over from Silvio Berlusconi with Italy at the centre of the eurozone debt crisis in November 2011. The yield Wednesday was 4.33%, its lowest since December 2010. When economist and former European commissioner Monti took the helm from Berlusconi the yield was stuck at the long-term unsustainable mark of 7%.

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