Spain beat its target for raising money in its latest bond auction in the latest sign that investors are confident the government can manage its finances and avoid a bailout.

The Treasury today sold a total of €4.57 billion in bonds at sharply lower rates - its maximum target was €4.5 billion.

€1.86 billion in three-year bonds, €1.55 billion in five-year bonds, and 1.16 billion in bonds maturing in 2026 were sold at today's auction.

Recession-stricken Spain's borrowing costs have plunged in recent months owing to the government's deficit-reduction programme and a pledge of help from the European Central Bank to buy up unlimited amounts of short-term bonds in countries.