The market for corporate borrowing through commercial papercontracted to the lowest level in five months as issuers reducedofferings of short-term IOUs, instead extending debt maturities byselling corporate bonds.

The seasonally adjusted amount of U.S. commercial paper fell$10.2 billion to $964.9 billion outstanding in the week endedyesterday, the Federal Reserve said today on its website. It's thelongest stretch of declines since the period ended Oct. 19, 2011and the lowest level since the market touched $939.9 billion May 2,according to Fed data compiled by Bloomberg.

Issuers are concerned that Europe's persistent debt crisis maydegrade credit quality globally, making it more difficult forcompanies to repay short-term obligations. Borrowers are seizingadvantage of record-low interest rates to issue longer-term companydebt.

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