Italy's six-month borrowing costs rose to 2.957 percent at auction today, their highest since December, piling pressure on the government as it pushes for concrete steps to ease market tensions at a European Union summit later this week.
A month ago Italy paid 2.1 percent to sell six-month paper. Wednesday's 9-billion-euro bill sale comes ahead of a more challening offer of five- and 10-year debt on Thursday, for up to 5.5 billion euros.
The bill sale was covered 1.6 times, in line with a month ago.
On Tuesday Spain paid 3.24 percent to sell six-month bills. Italy saw its two-year borrowing costs rise to 4.71 percent, a l so a six-month high, at a sale of zero-coupon paper on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Mario Monti promised on Tuesday to press for joint action by EU countries to help ease pressure on Italian bonds, risking a showdown with Germany which has refused to share the burden of other countries' debt.