Pacing across the floor

12th February 2008, Comments 0 comments

Skittishness continued to be the predominant attitude in the world's stock markets, a common occurrence during periods of great economic uncertainty like now.

12 February 2008

MADRID - Skittishness continued to be the predominant attitude in the world's stock markets, a common occurrence during periods of great economic uncertainty like now.

The Spanish blue-chip Ibex 35, which had recovered from a negative opening by gaining 0.73 percent and rising back to the 13,000-point mark, was dragged back down again by the New York Stock Exchange and fell 1.24 percent, although by closing time losses had been reduced to 0.90 percent.

The 13,000-point mark is becoming a reference number for the Spanish market, where the problems seem to begin precisely when the index either inches above or slides below it. It could be said that investors are relatively optimistic when the Ibex 35 does better than 13,000 points, but when it falls short, there is simply no stopping the sale of stock.

The New York Stock Exchange's capacity to drag other bourses behind it is obviously linked the epicentre of the United States' financial problems, which did nothing but increase when insurance company AIG announced Monday that credit-related losses will likely be much greater than expected. This fuelled investor fears that there are still companies that have not revealed all of their risks or have downplayed them.

The lack of relevant economic indicators on Monday made investors focus on the few offers presented by the market, although in Spain's case even short-term investment options were anything but solid.

Curiously, a few hours after the European bourses went to bed, New York was already feeling philosophical about the AIG announcement and the Dow Jones Industrial Index began posting slightly better figures. Meanwhile, EUR 4.21 billion were traded.

[Copyright EL PAÍS / RAFAEL VIDAL 2008]

Subject: Spanish news

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