Italian bonds fell, pushing yields toward euro-era highs, as the nation sold 7.5 billion euros ($10 billion) of debt at average yields above the 7 percent level that forced Greece, Ireland and Portugal to seek bailouts.

Ten-year Italian bonds dropped for the sixth time in seven days as the Rome-based Treasury auctioned 2014 notes at 7.89 percent, 2020 debt at 7.28 percent and 2022 securities at 7.56 percent. Belgian bonds rose for a second day even as the nation paid the most in three years to sell six-month bills. German 10-year yields were within four basis points of a three-month high before European finance ministers meet in Brussels to discuss the debt crisis.

"The problem is that Italy is issuing debt at just shy of 8 percent and if yields don't come down in the medium term then obviously things could get pretty difficult," said Huw Worthington, a fixed-income strategist at Barclays Capital in London. "Today's auction itself was pretty good, it shows there's demand out there."

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