Good news flowed our way for a change from debt-laden Italy where seemingly the holiday spirit and super Mario's new 30 billion euro austerity package that calmed the jitters.

Italy sold 9.0 billion euros of 6-month Treasury bills with costs plunging heavily as the average yield dropped to 3.251% from the November 25 auction at 6.504%. Demand also outbid supply as the bid-to-cover ratio was also higher at 1.69 times compared to 1.4 times the previous auction.

Nevertheless, Italy sold below the target zero-coupon where it targeted 2.5 to 3.5 billion euros of bonds and sold only 1.73 billion. The average yield was 4.853% against 7.814% the previous auction and the bid to cover ratio though was strong at 2.24 versus 1.59 previous auction.