Banks to the rescue

26th February 2008, Comments 0 comments

The Spanish stock market kicked off the trading week higher in line with the rest of Europe after gains on Wall Street.

26 February 2008

MADRID - The Spanish stock market kicked off the trading week higher in line with the rest of Europe after gains on Wall Street.

The domestic bourse opened higher after gains on New York Friday amid news of a possible rescue package for US bond insurer Ambac by a group of banks, and continued higher during the morning. A buoyant opening on Wall Street in the afternoon after US housing data for January was not as dismal as feared ensured the European markets closed higher.

The Spanish blue-chip Ibex 35 index closed up 1.07 percent at 13,156.60 points after moving within a range of 12,995-13,180 points. The Madrid general index added 1.03 percent to 1,462.91 points. Open-market deals in the continuous market amounted to EUR 3.2 billion.

Spain underperformed the rest of the European bourse as general elections on 9 March and the uncertainty accompanying the outcome served to put a cap on the rally.

In the rest of the euro area, Frankfurt gained 1.12 percent, while Paris added 1.96 percent London added 1.89 percent.

The banks led blue chips on the back of the Ambac rescue package development. Santander added 2.30 percent, while BBVA advanced 1.55 percent and Popular 2.64 percent.

Iberdrola was the worst performer on the Ibex 35, shedding 1.63 percent after shareholder ACS said it planned to do nothing with its stake until after the elections. This served to dampen speculation of merger and acquisition activity involving the electricity company.

ACS added 0.06 percent after issuing its 2007 earnings report, which threw up no surprises. Vueling added 0.24 percent despite posting a bigger-than-expected loss in 2007.

Leading stock Telefónica added 1.47 percent.

[Copyright El Pais / Adrian Soto 2008]

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