Italy sold €3 billion in five-year government bonds at an average yield that was almost 1 percentage point higher than what the country paid at a similar auction recently. The latest debt sale was Italy's first since Mario Monti, a former member of the European Commission, agreed to establish a replacement government. "It's all relative: Coming after the difficult last week, the results were reassuring," said Jan von Gerich, chief analyst at Nordea Markets. "However, still a couple of weeks ago, such an auction yield would have looked like a disaster."

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