Expatica news

Out of sync

20 February 2008

MADRID – The Spanish stock market closed lower yesterday, weighed down by leading banks, while the rest of the major European bourses managed to close higher.

The local bourse opened lower after Credit Suisse announced its was writing down USD 2.85 billion in assets, and continued to drop during the morning as investors waited to see how Wall Street would open after the US public holiday on Monday.

The market moved into positive territory after good results by Wal-Mart boosted Wall Street. But in the end, the uncertainty surrounding the financial sector held sway as share prices closed lower.

The Ibex 35 closed down 0.32 percent at 13,269.70 points after moving within a range of 13,044-13,393. The Madrid general index shed 0.36 percent to 1,437.11 points. Open-market deals in the continuous market amounted to EUR 3.5 billion.

In the rest of Europe, Paris closed up 0.49 percent, Frankfurt added 0.50 percent, while London gained 0.34 percent.

Leading banks Santander and BBVA closed down 0.42 and 0.14 percent. Bankinter lost 2.61 percent as investors awaited the decision of the Bank of Spain whether or not to allow France’s Crédit Agricole to increase its holding in the medium-sized bank. Market leader Telefónica also helped pushed the blue-chip index lower after the telecoms giant gave up 0.58 percent.

Iberdrola lost 0.96 percent amid rumours it was considering a takeover bid for Germany’s RWE as a means of warding off a possible approach by France’s EDF. Its renewables division Renovables shed 3.37 percent.

Colonial lost 7.14 percent as doubts started to emerge as to whether the Investment Corporation of Dubai would proceed with a planned takeover of the property firm.

[Copyright EL PAÍS / ADRIAN SOTO 2008]

Subject: Spanish news