(ANSA) - Milan, August 17 - The spreads in Italy and Spain continued to narrow and markets were positive in early trading across Europe on Friday, a day after investors were encouraged by Chancellor Angela Merkel's statements that Germany was "aligned" with the European Central Bank. The spread between Italian 10-year bonds and the German bund, an important indicator of investor confidence in Italy's ability to pull out of the euro crisis, was 422.5 points with a shrinking yield of 5.751%. The equivalent Spanish spread, which Thursday dropped below 500 points for the first time in a month and a half, continued to narrow to 493.7 points with a 6.461% yield. Merkel boosted market confidence a day earlier by saying the ECB is "completely aligned" with Germany in its approach to handling the continuing euro sovereign-debt crisis. Her remarks came shortly after an opinion piece by two politicians from Merkel's governing coalition was issued in economic daily Handelsblatt, attacking ECB chief Mario Draghi for allegedly being too lenient on errant eurozone economies, accusing him of turning the ECB into a "bad bank".
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di Giovanni Pastore