Sun, Oct 29, 2017 - Page 14 News List

EU equities rise as Spain slips on Catalonia crisis

AFP, NEW YORK

The Madrid stock market sank on Friday, bucking an upward trend in Europe and the US as Catalan lawmakers voted to declare independence from Spain, but Madrid immediately moved to quash the breakaway bid.

A motion declaring independence was approved with 70 votes in favor, 10 against and two abstentions, with Catalan opposition lawmakers walking out of the 135-seat chamber before the vote in protest at a declaration unlikely to be given official recognition.

Madrid’s benchmark IBEX 35 index of major companies on Friday ended the session about 1.5 percent lower at 10,197.50, dropping 0.3 percent from a close of 10,222.70 a week earlier.

Shares in Catalan banks were among the biggest losers.

CaixaBank SA, Spain’s third-largest lender, fell by about 5 percent, while Banco de Sabadell, the country’s fifth-biggest bank, fell about 6 percent.

“We are likely to see more sustained unrest, possibly including strikes, as well as more serious clashes between national police and pro-independence activists,” Eurasia Group analyst Federico Santi said in a note.

Nevertheless, elsewhere in Europe, the other main stock markets extended the previous day’s rally after the European Central Bank said it would soon start to taper its monetary stimulus program.

The pan-European STOXX 600 on Friday rose 0.6 percent to 393.43, rising 0.8 percent from a close of 390.13 on Oct. 20.

“Equities remain positive into the weekend, building on the recent recovery in bullish sentiment and rebounds from recent lows,” Accendo Markets analyst Mike van Dulken said.

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