MADRID (AP) - Spain has raised €4.9 billion ($6.4 billion) at slightly lower interest rates in a debt auction that saw strong demand as the country considers whether to request international help to manage its finances.
The Treasury sold €3.4 billion in 12-month bills at an average interest rate of 2.82 percent, down from 2.84 percent in the last such auction Sept. 18.
It sold €1.5 billion in 18-month bills at a rate of 3.02 percent, down from 3.04 percent.
The sale Tuesday was the first since credit rating agency Standard & Poor's last week cut its rating on Spain's debt by two notches to BBB-, just a step above junk status.
Demand was 2.78 times the amount offered in the shorter bills and 3.6 times for the longer bills.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.