Milan

Milan, other European financial markets slide on Monday

Despite slip, bank shares gain after Basel standards relaxed

Milan, other European financial markets slide on Monday

Milan, January 7 - Italy's leading financial market, like others across Europe, lost some ground Monday despite gains in the financial sector after a delay in tough new banking standards. Bank stocks rose over news that implementation of some Basel III liquidity standards have been delayed for four years and other requirements eased. Still, that wasn't enough to lift the Milan Stock Exchange, where the FTSE Mib slipped by 0.38% to close at 16,895 points. Italian banks already meet the Basel III liquidity requirements, but the easing of rules announced Sunday after a meeting of regulatory chiefs in Basel, Switzerland, was generally positive for financial sector stocks. Meanwhile, the spread between Italy's benchmark 10-year bond and its ultra-safe German counterpart nudged up to close Monday at 283 basis points, from Friday's close of 275 basis points. That was just below a landmark policy goal of a 287-point spread set by outgoing Premier Mario Monti - a figure exactly half the level of the spread in November 2011, when Monti took over from ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi. At that time, Italy at the centre of the eurozone debt crisis, and confidence in the Italian economy was very low. At close of trading Monday, the yield on 10-year Italian paper stood at 4.34%, near a two-year low. When economist and former European commissioner Monti took the helm from Berlusconi, the yield was stuck at the long-term unsustainable mark of 7%. In other European markets Monday, Frankfurt's DAX closed lower, falling by 0.56% to reach 7,732.66 points, while London's FTSE 100 fell by 0.41% to close at 6,064.58 points, Paris's CAC 40 slid 0.68% to close at 3,704.64 points, and Spain's IBEX 35 ended the day 0.26% lower at 8,413.50 points.

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