Milan sinks while other European stock markets mixed

Losses on bank shares pull down Italy's main financial market

Milan sinks while other European stock markets mixed

Milan, January 23 - Italy's leading stock market was pulled lower Wednesday by weak bank shares while other European markets showed a mixed performance. On the Milan Stock Exchange, the FTSE Mib fell by 0.77% in trading to end the day at 17,579 points. The overall performance of the index was dragged down by falling bank shares, hit hard by a derivatives scandal at Italy's third-largest lender Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS). One of the world's oldest banks, MPS saw its stock plunge more than 7% in trading Wednesday as the details of 2012 losses that could reach 220 million euros became known. At one point during the day, trading was suspended to halt losses. The bank had previously requested 3.9 billion euros in State aid to cover its capital needs. Investor fears spread across the financial sector, hitting other unrelated stocks. Meanwhile, the spread between Italy's benchmark 10-year bond and its ultra-safe German counterpart closed at 265 basis points, up from Tuesday's close of 262 basis points. The yield on 10-year Italian paper stood at 4.19%, down slightly from Tuesday's 4.20%. In other European markets, Frankfurt's DAX gained 0.15% to reach 7,707.54 points, while London's FTSE 100 climbed by 0.30% to close at 6,197.64 points, Paris's CAC 40 ended the day 0.40% lower to 3,726.14 points, and Spain's IBEX 35 closed trading 0.22% lower at 8,613.30 points.

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