March 13 - Italy's three-year borrowing costs rise to their highest since December after Fitch cut its credit rating last week, but the country did manage to sell the top planned amount of a new 15-year bond. Ciara Sutton reports.
5.32 billion euros is today's daily digit in Europe - the amount Italian government bonds were auctioned at. Yields on the three year debt were their highest level since December, new 15 year bonds fared better but demand was subdued. It was the first sale of long-term debt since Fitch cut the country's credit rating. Lyn Graham-Taylor is from Rabobank. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LYN GRAHAM-TAYLOR FROM RABOBANK, SAYING: "It was always looking like it would be a bit softer and a bit challenging. But the fact is they still got it away, although yields were elevated and bid covers were a bit disappointing. So overall, largely in line with what was anticipated." Disappointment also continues in Italy for the crowds braving incessant rain in St Peter's Square. Secret voting for a new pope has now entered a second day. But while the world's attention is focussed on the Sistene Chapel, the heat is very much on the country's politicians. The cost of borrowing has risen sharply since the country's inconclusive elections in February. And Italy's political stalemate has left investors anxious about its effect on the region's recovery.