European bourses calm

28th March 2008, Comments 0 comments

Release of economic indicators on Thursday allowed investors to adjust their portfolios, resulting in a series of gains in the European bourses

28 March 2008

MADRID - The release of several economic indicators on Thursday allowed stock market investors a certain amount of room to adjust their portfolios. The final outcome of this was a series of gains in the European bourses, in general of over 1 percent.

The Spanish blue-chip Ibex 35 index ended the session with an advance of 1.01 percent, which pushed it above 13,500 points, and provided it with a cushion against adverse developments.

The fact investors view this as a cushion reveals an overriding lack of confidence in the markets, which have become excessively volatile as they come under the influence of a whole battery of pressures.

Wall Street's performance yesterday was erratic despite the final GDP growth figure for the fourth quarter of last year confirming the initial estimate. The reticence shown by US investors stemmed from provisional inflation and consumption figures, which could undercut the rationale for further interest rate cuts.

The increase in consumer confidence in Germany for the first time in three months gave a lift to the European markets, despite the euro's rise against the dollar, and as the price of oil neared USD 105 per barrel in London and moved above USD 107.5 in New York.

The apparent bonanza enjoyed by the stock markets contrasted with the situation of escalating commodity prices and the complicated status of the financial markets, although the European Central Bank helped calm things down with a further injection of liquidity.

Turnover in the Spanish continuous market improved to EUR 4.861 billion. Open-market deals amounted to EUR 3.737 billion, with three stocks - as in the previous session - accounting for half of this amount.

[Copyright El Pais/ Rafael Vidal 2008]

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