MILAN (AP) — Italy raised €8.5 billion ($11.44 billion) in an auction of six-month bonds, as markets continue to shrug off any concern about political uncertainty in the country ahead of next month's elections.
Borrowing rates dropped to 0.731 percent from 0.949 percent a month earlier. Demand was 1.65 times the offer, up from 1.57 percent. Markets are looking for a continuation of political reforms started by Premier Mario Monti to boost growth and bring down Italy's high debt levels in the Feb. 24-25 vote. The center-left Democratic Party has been leading in polls with about one-third of voters still undecided. Also challenging is the center-right of Silvio Berlusconi, in second place in the polls, and a group of centrist parties supporting Monti, in third.