(Updates with latest retail sales data, comments)
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 29 (Reuters) - Retail investors placed orders for nearly half of the $1.98 billion of general obligation bonds California began selling on Tuesday, the state treasurer's office said.
At the close of the sale's two-day retail order period on Wednesday, retail investors had placed orders for $930.7 million, or 47 percent, of the offering, State Treasurer Bill Lockyer's office said on Wednesday.
"We were hoping for strong demand, and we weren't disappointed," Lockyer said in a statement.
The sale of the debt, which will raise proceeds to refinance other bonds, wraps up on Thursday after orders from institutional investors.
Lockyer's office said yields quoted to investors on Tuesday were lowered generally by 1 basis point for bonds with maturities of 10 years or longer as a result of high demand.
Preliminary yields ranged from 1.28 percent on bonds with a five-year maturity to 4.08 percent for bonds with a 26-year maturity.
The yields could change before the sale's final prices are established on Thursday. (Reporting By Jim Christie; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)