Italian borrowing rates stay low after Berlusconi vacillates on whether to run

Italian borrowing costs remained relatively low in a bond auction, a day after Silvio Berlusconi said he may not run for premier after all.

Italy easily raised €3.5 billion ($4.5 billion) in the sale of 3-year bonds Thursday that saw yields drop to the lowest level in two years. Italy paid an interest rate of 2.5 percent, compared with 2.64 percent last month.

Italy has been back in the spotlight for the past week since Berlusconi's party dropped its support for the technocratic government of Premier Mario Monti.

Markets fretted whether Berlusconi would run again. But on Wednesday, the 3-time premier said he would step aside if Monti runs.

Monti has said he will step down as soon as the budget is passed but has not disclosed his plans.