The spread between Italian and German bond rates fell 11 basis points to close at 428 Tuesday, with Italian 10-year bonds yielding 5.66%.
Italy's central bank issued a report Tuesday saying the spread should be "on the order of 200" basis points, given the state of the Italian economy and blamed "contagion" for the rest.
Also on Tuesday, Italian Premier Mario Monti told reporters after meeting French President Francois Hollande in Rome that Italy and France will work to ensure the measures agreed by European leaders in June to lower the borrowing costs of the countries hit by the eurozone debt crisis are fully applied.
And markets are anxiously awaiting a policy meeting of the European Central Bank set for Thursday. The ECB is working on drafting a mechanism to buy bonds in the secondary market to lower the borrowing costs of countries with sovereign debt troubles. Spanish bonds also benefited Tuesday from expectations of European structural relief for borrowing costs.
The spread between Spanish bonds and the German benchmark closed at 518 basis points after reaching a high of 550 basis points during the day. The yield on ten year Spanish bonds closed at 6.56%.
European markets were mixed today. Closing down were Paris's CAC 40 (-1.58%), London's FTSE-100 (-1.5%), Frankfurt's DAX (-1.17%), and Milan's FTSE MIB (-0.29%).
Madrid's IBEX (+0.73%) and Athen's General Index (+1.46%) closed up.