European stock markets nudged slightly up Tuesday with the FTSE MIB up 0.41%, London's FTSE-100 gaining 0.36% and the Paris CAC 40 edging forward 0.47%. Frankfurt's DAX and Madrid's Ibex 35 were nearly flat with gains of 0.16% and 0.09% respectively.
Bond spreads on the secondary market suffered jitters on a day that saw bond issues for both Italy and Spain - two countries at the center of Europe's sovereign debt crisis. By the day's end, however, the market had stabilized nearly to Monday's levels. The spread between yields on Italian and German 10-year bonds in the secondary market closed at 351 basis points on Tuesday, after rising over 360 during the day. The spread between the rate on Spanish bonds and the German benchmark closed at 416 basis points after reaching a high of 426. Italian and Spanish bond spreads are an important gauge of market confidence in those countries' abilities to pay down their huge public debts.