Milan weak as European stock markets mixed

Spread between Italian, German bonds rise on Monday's trading

Milan weak as European stock markets mixed

Milan, February 11 - Italy's major stock market was among the weakest in Europe Monday. On the Milan Stock Exchange, the FTSE Mib fell by 0.60% in trading, to end the day at 16,529 points. Much of the weakness on Italian financial markets is being blamed on political uncertainty surrounding the national election scheduled for February 24 and 25. Ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi said on Monday that he was sure his center-right coalition was now leading their opponents, the center-left Democratic Party (PD), in the polls for the upcoming elections. "I believe that we have overtaken them...they are now (trailing) behind us," Berlusconi said on radio program 'Un Giorno da Pecora'. Financial markets have been alarmed by Berlusconi's pledges to undo many of the financial and economic reforms put in place by outgoing technocrat Premier Mario Monti. Meanwhile, the spread between Italy's benchmark 10-year bond and its ultra-safe German counterpart continued to climb, reaching 301 basis points Monday, while the yield on 10-year Italian paper stood at 4.61%. In other European markets, Frankfurt's DAX lost 0.24% to reach 7,633.74 points, while London's FTSE 100 climbed by 0.21% to close at 6,277.06 points, Paris's CAC 40 ended the day almost unchanged, gaining just 0.03% to close at 3,650.58 points, and Spain's IBEX 35 closed trading 1.18% lower at 8,078.60 points.

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