European stocks continue losses as Cyprus bailout stalls

FTSE MIB sheds 1.59%, and spread rises to 337 basis points

European stocks continue losses as Cyprus bailout stalls

Milan, March 19 - European stocks closed largely in the red for the third consecutive day Tuesday as an EU-backed bailout plan for Cyprus ran into difficulties in the island country's parliament and investors got jumpy. Milan's FTSE-MIB ended the day down 1.59% at 15,670.56, Spain's IBEX 35 dropped 2.2% to 8,321, France's CAC 40 shed 1.3% at 3,775.75, Germany's DAX closed 0.8% off at 7,947.79 and London's FTSE 100 ended the day 0.3% lower at 6,441.32. Reflecting worries that the stalled bailout of Cyrpus could have wider ramifications in the eurozone, the spread between Italy's 10-year BTP and its German counterpart once again rose Tuesday to 337 basis points, up from Monday's close of 323 basis points. The financials-heavy Milan stock exchange saw banking shares hit particularly hard with Mediobanca down 5.03%, followed by BPM (-5%), Ubi and UniCredit (both losing 4.07%) and Banco Popolare (-3.77%).

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