Going for gold as oil rises
The Spanish stock market suffered heavy losses yesterday as gold and oil prices hit record highs and as the US economy showed further signs of ill health.4 March 2008
MADRID - The Spanish stock market suffered heavy losses yesterday as gold and oil prices hit record highs and as the US economy showed further signs of ill health. The blue-chip Ibex 35 shed 2.34 percent losing the 13,000-point level along the way.
The domestic bourse opened lower after heavy losses on Wall Street on Friday and in Tokyo early Monday. It continued that way for the rest of the session and only barely managed to end off its lows for the day before the close.
The release of US economic indicators showing the biggest drop in spending on construction projects in January in 14 years, combined with the manufacturing sector having its worst month in close to five years in February, sealed the fate of the Spanish bourse.
The Spanish blue-chip Ibex 35 index closed at 12,862.50 points after moving within a range of 12,829-13,020 points. The Madrid general index lost 2.11 percent to 1,395.93 points. Open-market deals in the continuous market amounted to EUR 342 billion.
Spain underperformed the rest of the European bourse as the latest car figures cast further doubt about the domestic economy ahead of general elections on 9 March.
In the rest of the euro area, Frankfurt lost 0.86 percent, while Paris fell 1.00 percent and London dropped 1.12 percent.
Colonial was down 5.38 percent with no word before the close of the market on whether the property company's core shareholders had accepted an ICD sovereign wealth fund's takeover offer. Sacyr led blue chips lower with a loss of 6.93 percent despite a 74.5-percent rise in earnings for last year. Stock exchange operator BME shed 3.22 percent as market turnover fell 11.6 percent last month.
[Copyright EL PAÍS / ADRIAN SOTO 2008]