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Italy's borrowing costs rise slightly in bond auction amid political jockeying for Feb. vote

ROME - Italy's borrowing costs have risen slightly in an auction of six-month bonds held in the wake of Prime Minister Mario Monti's resignation.

The Italian Treasury sold the €8.5 billion ($11.24 billion) in paper Thursday, but the interest rate charged on the bond was 0.949 per cent, up from 0.919 per cent in November's auction. Demand was 1.57 times the amount on offer.

Italy's borrowing costs have fallen over the past year thanks to Premier Mario Monti's reforms and the European Central Bank's offer to buy up bonds in countries struggling with their debts. But Monti resigned last week after Silvio Berlusconi's party yanked support for his technical government. Monti has excluded running for office in elections scheduled for February but says he would consider leading the next government if politicians request it.


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