The Milan bourse saw the worst performance among Europe's major stock exchanges on a generally grim day for equities on Monday. The FTSE MIB index lost 1.98% to close at 15,562 points, with credit institutions and the automaker Fiat losing ground in particular. Press rumors of a regulator inquiry into Fiat's liquidity sent the stock price down 4.16% to 4.29 euros, though Fiat denied the press report. Italian banks suffered from the absence of news on hoped-for progress from the Eurogroup meeting of finance ministers on Spain and Greece. Madrid's Ibex 35 index closed down 0.80% at 7,891 points, but Paris fared worse - the Paris CAC 40 lost 1.46% to close at 3,406.53 points. Frankfurt's DAX index slipped 1.44% to 7291.21 points. London's FTSE-100 index lost less terrain, falling 0.50% to5,841.74 points.
Bond spreads edged higher on Monday.
The difference between interest rates on Italian and German 10-year bonds closed at 360 basis points, whereas on Friday the spread had closed at 353 points.
The yield Monday on the Italian paper was 5.07%.
The spread between Spanish bonds and the German benchmark closed at 423 basis points.
The yield on 10-year Spanish bonds was 5.71%.
The bond spread is an important gauge of market confidence in the ability of Italy and Spain to pay down their huge public debts.