Freddie Mac borrowed $4 billion Wednesday at a lower cost than in its last sale of similar debt, suggesting the recent expansion of capital backstops has bolstered investor confidence in the government-sponsored enterprises.

The offering was the first of benchmark debt by Freddie or Fannie Mae since the Treasury Department's Dec. 24 announcement that it would offer the GSEs unlimited capital for three years, up from as much as $200 billion each.

Freddie's five-year reference notes were priced to yield 27.5 basis points more than Treasuries of a similar maturity. In June, Freddie sold five-year notes at a spread of 41.3 basis points.

Reference notes are Freddie's largest type of debt issue, with a minimum size of $3 billion.

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