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Spain raises $5 billion in healthy bond sale

MADRID (AP) -- Spain has raised an above-target $5 billion ((euro) 3.9 billion) in a successful debt auction that saw interest rates drop sharply despite renewed concern about whether the country needs international help.

The Treasury said Tuesady that it sold (euro) 2.39 billion in in 12-month bills with a yield of 2.56 percent, down from 2.79 percent in the previous auction on Nov. 20. It sold (euro) 1.5 billion in 18-month bills at an average rate of 2.79 percent, down from 3.03 percent.

The Treasury had set a maximum sale target of (euro) 3.5 billion, and demand was double the amount offered.

Spain came under renewed pressure to seek help Monday as its secondary market borrowing costs _ a measure of investor wariness _ rose after Italian Premier Mario Monti's decision to resign caused market jitters.

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