Portugal easily sold €750m of 10-year debt today in its first bond auction in three years, in a show of support from investors that puts the country on track to exit its bailout smoothly next month.
The IGCP debt agency placed the bond at an average yield of 3.5752%, the lowest on record in an auction of that maturity.
The figure was significantly lower than the secondary market yield of 3.68% registered just before the auction and well below the 5.112% that Portugal paid in a syndicated 10-year bond sale in February.
Demand outstripped the amount placed by 3.5 times.
The debt sale, intended to help pre-fund Portugal for 2015, occurred a day after its international lenders started their final evaluation of its performance under the €78 billion bailout it took in 2011.
It suggests that Portugal, whose benchmark yields are trading at eight-year lows, has an increasingly good chance of making a clean exit from the rescue package.
That means it would follow in the footsteps of Ireland, which chose not to request a precautionary European loan when its bailout ended in December.