Cashing in on gains

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The Spanish stock market closed slightly lower on Tuesday as investors opted to take profits amid an uncertain situation for the US economy.

5 December 2007

MADRID - The Spanish stock market closed slightly lower on Tuesday as investors opted to take profits amid an uncertain situation for the US economy.

The domestic market opened in an indecisive mood after overnight falls in New York and Tokyo before the blue-chip Ibex 35 moved tentatively above the 15,800-point mark. However, the benchmark index reversed direction as Wall Street opened lower. In the end run, the Ibex 35 pared its losses largely due to market heavyweight Telefónica as New York recovered lost ground.

The Ibex 35 shed 0.17 percent to 15,708.20 points after trading in a range of 15,615-15,844. The Madrid general index dropped 0.16 percent to 1,704.16 points. Open-market deals in the continuous market amounted to about EUR 4.0 billion. In the rest of Europe, Frankfurt shed 0.36 percent, Paris dropped 1.46 percent, while London was down 1.12 percent.

Telefónica underpinned blue chips with a gain of 1.53 percent. The stock has a weighting of about 20 percent in the Ibex 35.

Medium-sized banks suffered the brunt of the profit-taking after recent strong gains on merger and acquisition plays. Bankinter dropped 3.36 percent, while Banesto shed 3.83 percent.

Grid network operator Red Eléctrica continued to advance, adding a further 1.20 percent on top of Monday's gain of 2.89 percent on expectations of a higher return on its government-regulated investments.

Commercial television company Antena 3 was the star performer in the Ibex 35. Its stock added 7.12 percent to EUR 11.13 after reaching an intraday high of EUR 11.46 amid speculation it could be the object of merger and acquisition activity by media firm Vocento.

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

Subject: Spanish news

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