Rome, April 17 - The spread narrowed during midday trading Wednesday between Italy's benchmark 10-year bond and its safer German counterpart. At just 297 points, the spread was tightened despite a successful German bond auction that saw the rate on its 10-year bonds fall to a record low of 1.28%. Meanwhile, the yield on Italy's 10-year paper also slipped to 4.23%, the lowest level seen since February 25 when the Italian general-election results started coming in. The spread between lending rates in the two countries is seen as an indication of investor faith in the Italian economy and its ability to cope with a lingering recession. Investors in Italian debt sent a strong signal of confidence in its economy on Tuesday when, for the second day in a row, they snapped up an entire offer of special bonds worth some eight billion euros. On Monday, the entire offering of nine billion euros was subscribed, leaving the two-day total for the sale - whose deadline was brought forward one day amid booming demand - at 17 billion euros.