European stock markets closed essentially unvaried Wednesday following new eurozone unemployment figures showing the number of people out of work in the area reached another record high in September and as US markets opened lower after a two-day shutdown caused by super-storm Sandy.
Eurostat said that 18.49 million people were unemployed in the eurozone in September, after 146,000 more people lost their jobs during the month.
Milan markets were boosted in part by the positive performance of Fiat Industrial, the trucks unit spun off from Fiat earlier this year, which gained 3.02% after releasing quarterly results. Fiats separately-listed auto unit ended the day down 4.33% on the day after its own quarterly results which pointed once again to the difficulties facing the company as the European auto market continues to contract amid the economic crisis. The banking sector was also hit by sales, with shares in leading banks all closing lower. Investors meanwhile piled back into shares of scandal-plagued Finmeccanica, pushing the shares up 2.8% Wednesday. Real estate group Prysmian also gained, closing up 2.13% after Citigroup analysts wrote that the company is on track to meet its 2012 targets.
Telecoms giant Telecom Italia also gained Wednesday (+1.65%), boosted by positive results at its Brazilian mobile unit, Tim Brasil. Meanwhile Italys borrowing costs declined Wednesday as bond-interest rates closed at 4.94%, slightly lower than Tuesdays 4.99%. The spread between Italian bond rates and the German equivalent reached 348 basis points, slightly lower than Tuesdays 351 basis point differential.