Business World

Wednesday 13 December 2017

European stock markets gain on Spain bailout speculation

GAINS in financial shares led European stock markets higher today on persistent speculation Spain may be edging closer to asking for a sovereign bailout.

A Bloomberg report Germany may be open to Spain seeking a precautionary line of credit from the region's bailout fund also helped support stocks, buoy the euro and trim Spanish debt yields.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index provisionally closed up 1.4pc at 1,113.26 points, while the euro zone Euro STOXX 50 index rose 2.5pc to 2,547.25 points.

The STOXX Europe 600 Banking index was the best-performing equity sector, rising 2.9pc after better-than-expected profits at Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs lifted financial stocks.

"We are a bit more positive for the time being, and we are more equity-orientated in terms of the portfolio," said KBL Switzerland Chief Investment Officer Philippe Carette.

"We were quite defensive, but we have been adding more financial stocks to the portfolio," he added.

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