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Fed up of waiting

Published on 12/12/2007

12 December 2007

MADRID – While the other major European bourses were on hold ahead of the outcome of the US Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting late yesterday, the Spanish stock market decided to go out on its own and make up for its recent underperformance.

While there was little doubt that the Fed would cut interest rates to provide a fillip to the US economy, the jury was still out on whether it would opt for a cut of 25 or 50 basis points.

The local market opened higher after overnight gains on Wall Street, which pushed the blue-chip Ibex 35 above 15,900 points at one moment. But while the rest of Europe closed moderately lower due to higher oil prices and the appreciation of the euro, the benchmark index remained in positive territory by the end of the session.

The Ibex 35 closed up 0.37 percent at 15,890.50 after trading in a range of 15,771-15,906 points. The Madrid general index added 0.32 percent to 1,720.99 points. Open-market deals in the continuous market amounted to somewhat less than EUR 4 billion.

In the rest of Europe, London was down 0.43 percent, Frankfurt shed 0.30 percent, while Paris was off 0.45 percent.

Fashion retailer Inditex was the best performer in the Ibex 35, adding 3.39 percent ahead of the release of its nine months to October earnings.

Motorway operator Cintra advanced 2.41 percent after JP Morgan identified the stock as one of its top picks for next year and raised its target price.

Iberdrola put on 1.49 percent ahead of the announcement of the final price for the IPO of its renewable energies unit.

The Ibex 35 technical committee yesterday decided to drop Antena 3 and NH Hoteles from the index from January, with Abengoa and Grifols replacing them.

[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL./ Adrián Soto 2007]

Subject: Spanish news