‘Auction results show confidence’

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By Reuters

A recent successful auction of French bonds shows that there is confidence in the French economy, even as it and the rest of Europe face an especially difficult year, Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said on Tuesday.

France's long-term bond yields fell in the Treasury's first debt sale of the year on January 3, as high appetite for liquid French debt outweighed a sovereign downgrade in November by Moody's rating agency.

“There is in my view no worry for the French economy if we do the job, and we are doing the job,” Moscovici said after a speech during a visit to Beijing, referring to the task of reducing France's structural deficit and creating more jobs.

The recent bond sale “shows there is huge confidence in the market in the French economy,” he added.

Moscovici has said the French government will stick to its 3 percent deficit target and 0.8 percent growth target in 2013, although international institutions and economists predict the deficit will be about 3.5 percent while growth will be much lower than 0.8 percent.

He added that the prospects for the euro zone have improved in the past few months and the fundamentals of the region are strong, in what will be “a difficult year for the global economy, especially in Europe”. - Reuters

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