01/05/2012 05:40 EST | Updated 03/06/2012 05:12 EST

France raises $10.31 billion in bond auction with solid demand but higher yield

PARIS - France has raised €7.96 billion ($10.31 billion) in a bond auction with solid demand but was forced to pay slightly higher interest rates than at the last such sale.

Most of the bonds sold Thursday were 10-year notes, which markets eye as a benchmark of investor confidence. Demand surpassed the supply but was considerably less than at the last auction in December. Investors asked for an interest rate of 3.29 per cent to lend France €4.02 billion in 10-year money, up from 3.18 per cent in December.

Twelve-year, 24-year and 30-year bonds were also sold with healthy demand.

Investors were closely watching the auction because of concerns that Europe's financial crisis could spread to core countries like France.