EMESE BARTHA
wsj.com
July 9, 20112

France joined a handful of euro-zone countries Monday in selling short-term debt at negative interest rates as investors seek alternatives to expensive German and Dutch debt.

Earlier in the day, Germany’s six-month borrowing costs again turned negative at an auction, after the European Central Bank slashed its key policy and deposit rates to unprecedented levels last week.

The negative yield at Monday’s German auction, the lowest on record in this maturity segment, means that investors effectively pay the German state for the privilege of holding its debt.

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