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FTSE rebound stalls as Italy debt jitters flare again

Other stock indices in Europe also pull back, after markets send Spain, France and Austria’s borrowing costs higher.

A tentative rally in Britain’s FTSE 100 stalled on Monday after Italy was forced to pay a high price to sell five-year bonds, amid mounting uncertainty over the ability of the country’s new government to resolve its debt woes.

The UK index of blue-chip shares eased 0.47%, or 26 points, to 5,519 and the All Share index gave up 0.44%, or 13 points, to 2,844.

Markets had earlier welcomed the resignation of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, and were also cheered by news that former EU commissioner Mario Monti had been given the task of forming an emergency government in Italy.

But Angus Campbell at Capital Spreads said that despite political changes in both Italy and Greece, investors remained sceptical that the eurozone debt crisis ‘could actually be resolved’.

‘The sombre mood was caused primarily by uncertainty that a new Italian administration would find itself with enough support in order to push through badly needed reforms,’ he said. Gains for equities would remain ‘hard to come by’ until there is more detail on how Monti would manage to achieve that, Campbell added.

Italy paid 6.29% in its €3 billion (£2.6 billion) auction, a euro-era high, up from 5.32%. However, the sale was covered 1.47 times, reflecting slightly better demand than at the earlier sale.

The yield, or interest rate, on benchmark Italian 10-year government bonds subsequently climbed 20 basis points to 6.72% – close to levels seen as ruinous in the long-term – after earlier retreating as low as 6.34%.

‘The unelected Mr Monti may well regret taking on this job and I don’t expect him to last terribly long (like most Italian governments),’ warned Louise Cooper, markets analyst at BGC Partners. ‘I will be cutting and pasting scary Italian bond yield charts in the months, if not years, to come.’

Other stock indices in Europe also pulled back, as markets sent Spain, France and Austria’s borrowing costs higher in a sign that the crisis is continuing to spread. Germany’s DAX index fell 1.2% to 5,985, France’s CAC 40 index slipped 1.28% to 3,109, and the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was 0.86% lower at 976.

Resources stocks were among the biggest fallers, amid the concerns over global demand and as commodities prices dropped. Vedanta Resources (VED.L) dropped 42p to £11.20 and Glencore International (GLEN.L) slid 12p to 429p.

Financials also suffered: Standard Chartered (STAN.L) weakened 46p to £13.56, Barclays (BARC.L) was off 5p at 174p and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) slipped 0.5p to 21.9p.

ITV (ITV.L) topped the leader board on the FTSE 100, taking on 2p to 67p, after a bullish third-quarter trading update from the broadcaster. Burberry (BRBY.L) claimed second place, taking on 44p to £14.21, ahead of interim results from the luxury goods maker.

Wall Street halted a two-session rally, tracking losses in Europe. The Dow Jones Industrial Average eased 0.17% to 12,133, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 0.58% to 1,257, and the Nasdaq Composite index shed 0.19% to 2,674.

Elsewhere, sterling sank 1.13% versus the dollar to $1.59 ahead of UK inflation data on Tuesday, and strengthened 0.14% against the euro to €1.166.

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  1. December 14, 2011 at 4:05 am

    don’t get rick rolled

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