European markets decline amid U.S. fiscal cliff concerns

Milan, London, Paris, Frankfurt drop, Madrid bucks the trend

European markets decline amid U.S. fiscal cliff concerns

Milan, December 21 - Markets fell across Europe on Friday, paced by Milan's FTSE MIB index, as investors shied away from markets after a key vote relating to the upcoming budget talks was cancelled. The cancellation of a vote allowing an increase on high-income taxes means US congress is not slated to vote on the end-of-year budget for the world's largest economy after the Christmas festivities. This leaves US authorities little time to draw up an accord ahead of the $600 billion of tax hikes and public spending additions that will be automatically executed from January. Italy's FTSE MIB index fell 0.4 % to 16,333 points. The yield spread between 10-year Italian bonds and the German benchmark state debt, a barometer of Italy's borrowing costs in the eurozone crisis, closed at 310 points with 10-year yields at 4.5%. The Frankfurt Dax bourse dropped 0.4% to 7,640, while the Paris Cac 40 Index declined 0.2% to 3,661 points. London's Ftse-100 stock market fell 0.3% to 5,939 points. Madrid's Ibex index bucked the trend, gaining 0.1% to 8,272 points.

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