April 5, 2012 / 9:19 AM / 5 years ago

Yields on French bonds rise slightly in auction

PARIS, April 5 (Reuters) - Yields on French 5- to 15-year fixed-rate bonds rose only marginally at a debt auction on Thursday, debt management agency Agence France Tresor said, but investor appetite remained firm despite concerns about Spanish debt.

France sold 8.4 billion euros of paper maturing in the mid- to long-term, known as OATs, near the top of its projected range of 7-8.5 billion euros. It received total bids for nearly three times that amount.

The auction came a day after after doubts over Spain's ability to meet budget targets hit investor demand at an auction in Madrid, raising concern that the euro zone debt crisis may be craning up a notch again.

The yield on France's five-year 4.25 percent OAT due in October 2017 rose by a hair to 1.96 percent - with a bid-to-cover rate of 3.27 percent - from a yield of 1.91 percent when last auctioned March 1.

Yet for the 4.50 percent 30-year-bond, the yield fell to 3.79 percent from 3.97 percent.

Yields also rose very slightly for the 10- and 15-year 3.00 percent and 3.50 percent OATs, to 2.98 percent from 2.91 percent, and 3.46 percent and 3.30 percent, respectively.

Like other countries previously threatened by Europe's debt crisis, France has seen its yields come down sharply, especially on the short end, since the European Central Bank began pumping huge quantities of liquidity into the banking system.

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