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Italy's Target2 debt up sharply in December

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MILAN (Reuters) - Italy's liabilities towards other euro zone central banks jumped by more than 20 billion euros in December reversing in part the decline seen in the previous two months, central bank data showed on Monday.

Data published by the Bank of Italy showed Italy's Target 2 debt stood at 515.97 billion euros ($628.50 billion) at the end of last year, up from 494.94 billion euros in November. It was the highest level since October.

The European Central Bank's funding to Italian banks rose to 374.06 billion euros in December from 367.42 billion euros in November, the data also showed.

A country's Target 2 position is monitored as a sign of financial stress and imbalances within the euro zone. Target2 debt could rise, for example, due to capital outflows. It also reflects increased reliance of domestic banks on ECB's funding.

Italy started publishing its Target2 debt position in September 1997. ($1 = 0.8210 euros)

(Graphic: Italy's Target2 Debt:

(Reporting by Sara Rossi and Alessia Pé)