Global stock markets were mixed yesterday but began to climb as the day wore on while the euro was steady as enthusiasm over a massive Spanish bank bailout faded.
European indices see-sawed in and out of positive territory while most Asian stock markets closed lower as investors measured the impact of the eurozone bank bailout on Spain’s sovereign debt burden.
US markets were upbeat in midday trading in New York.
Spanish 10-year government bonds yields—the rate of return earned by investors—spiked to a record of 6.834%, the highest level since the eurozone was founded, as tension reigned on sovereign debt markets.
The Spanish rate settled afterwards to 6.716%—a rate still regarded as unsustainable over the longer term.
Italy’s 10-year government bond yield leapt to a high of 6.301% from the previous day’s closing level of 6.032%.
Any yield above 6.0% indicates the market is increasingly sceptical that the EU bank bailout accord can resolve Spain’s problems.
Michael Hewson at CMC Markets said: “EU leaders continue to give their best impression of blind men groping around in the dark for a solution to the debt problems afflicting Europe.
“The single currency has remained under pressure as Spanish and Italian borrowing costs continue to push higher,” he added.
At the close of trading, London’s FTSE 100 index of leading companies had gained 0.76% to 5,473.74 points, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 was up by 0.33% at 6,161.24 and in Paris the CAC 40 added 0.14% to 3,046.91.
Madrid’s IBEX 35 index gained a slight 0.09% to 6,522.5 points while Milan was down by 0.70% at 12,980 points.
In foreign exchange deals, the euro stood at $1.2479, down slightly from $1.2482 in New York late Monday.
US stocks got off to an uncertain start in New York but headed higher into positive territory as European trading ended.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up by 0.77% to 12,506.82 points in midday trading.
The S&P 500-stock index added 0.71% to 1,318.24 points, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was 0.70% higher at 2,829.40 points.
The late surge in Europe and comparable movement in New York defied a downgrade of another 18 Spanish banks by Fitch Ratings a day after Fitch cut its ratings on the two biggest Spanish banks, Santander and BBVA.
Fitch, which cut Spain’s sovereign debt rating by three notches last week to “BBB”, said its latest downgrade of Spanish banks was the result of “the potential for the loan portfolios of certain banks to deteriorate further.
Investors are now looking to the weekend when Greece holds its second election in less than six weeks amid concern that a victory for anti-austerity groups could lead to Athens making a disorderly exit from the eurozone.
Cyprus added to the tension with news that it too might need emergency EU funding.
Currencies Direct analyst Philip Ryan commented that “Greek elections this weekend will ensure the euro will have a turbulent week.” from gulf times.