Milan

Italy-German spread narrows to 240 points

Milan, other European financial markets fall over Syria jitters

Italy-German spread narrows to 240 points

Milan, September 3 - Investors showed their nervousness about the Syria conflict Tuesday, pushing down Milan's top stock exchange along with its European counterparts. The FTSE-Mib lost 0.28% to close at 16,941 points as uncertainty continued to roil many European and global markets, with investors considering the likelihood of US intervention in Syria and what this might mean for energy prices and the nascent global economic recovery. United States President Barack Obama said at the weekend that he would seek congressional approval for a strike against Syria, which could seriously disrupt oil supplies. That seemed to rattle investor confident in equities. However, on bond markets the spread between Italy's 10-year bond and its German counterpart continued to narrow, closing at 240 basis points, down slightly from Monday's close of 245 basis points. The yield on Italian 10-year paper closed at 4.34%, almost unchanged from Monday's 4.35%. The spread between lending rates in the two countries is seen as an indication of investor faith in the Italian economy and its ability to cope with a lingering recession. On other European markets, Frankfurt's DAX dropped by 0.77% to close at 8,180.71 points, while Paris's CAC 40 shed 0.80% to close at 3,974.07 points, and Spain's IBEX 35 edged up by 0.19% to 8,445.20 points. In London, the FTSE index of leading British shares lost 0.58% to close at 6,468.41.

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