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Shares, euro edge higher with Spain budget in focus

Published: September 27, 2012 | 8:38 am
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European shares and the euro reclaimed some of the previous day’s sharp losses early on Thursday, amid hopes Spain’s budget could nudge Madrid towards accepting a rescue program and allow the ECB to launch its new bond buying plan.

European shares .STOXX.FTEU3, which suffered their biggest one-day fall since late July on Wednesday, bounced 0.5 percent as trading resumed. It followed rising Chinese equities that had pushed Asian stocks .MIAPJ0000PUS up 1 percent.

London’s FTSE 100 .FTSE, Paris’s CAC-40 .FCHI and Frankfurt’s DAX .GDAXI opened between 0.4 and 0.5 percent higher, but the focus was squarely on Spain, whose debt problems remain at the centre of euro zone worries.

“The Spanish budget later and whether that is linked to a request for aid is what everybody will be looking at today,” said Aline Schuiling at ABN Amro.

“Mr. Rajoy appears to be trying to resist making the request but, as we have seen, the yields are back above 6 percent and I think the markets certainly have the power to force his hand.”

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government will lay out budget figures and new spending plans from 1200 GMT. Fierce protests in Spain and Greece against severe austerity measures had roiled markets on Wednesday, sending 10-year Spanish bond yields back above the 6 percent threshold.

Bond markets were largely quiet as trading restarted. Spanish and other euro zone periphery yields were flat while German Bund futures opened 10 basis points lower, giving back some of the solid gains made in the previous session.

The euro, which has lost more than 1.6 percent over the last two weeks, clawed back up to $1.2877 by 0730 GMT although trading was choppy ahead of Spain’s budget announcement.


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