MADRID (AP) — Spain has sold an above-target €5.8 billion ($7.74 billion) in short-term bills at a sharply reduced interest rate, reflecting easing investor concern over the country's ability to manage its finances without a bailout.

The Treasury sold €3.25 billion in 12-month bills at an average interest rate of 1.47 percent, down from 2.56 percent in the last such auction Dec. 11.

It placed €2.51 billion in 18-month bills on a yield of 1.69 percent, compared with 2.79 percent last month.

Demand was more than double the amount offered overall Tuesday.

Spain's borrowing costs have plunged from unsustainable highs last year after the European Central Bank pledged to help countries by buying up their short-term bonds if they apply for help. Spain says it does not need outside aid for the moment.

 

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