European, Italy stocks drop amid negative data, Greece woes

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European, Italy stocks drop amid negative data, Greece woes

(ANSA) - Milan, August 23 - Stock markets across Europe posted declines on Thursday after the U.S. said jobless claims in the world's largest economy had risen, and amid ongoing concern about Greece's public finances. Markets fell across Europe on Tuesday, led by a 1.4% decline in Milan's FTSE MIB index. The Frankfurt bourse dropped 0.8%, and the Paris CAC 40 index fell 0.7%. Madrid meanwhile fell 1%. The yield spread between 10-year Italian bonds and the German benchmark, a barometer of Italy's borrowing costs in the eurozone crisis, closed at 430 points, from 420 at Wednesday's close. Italian yields levelled at 5.7% amid investor concern about the effects the ongoing debt crisis and Greece's public finances will have on the euro region's third-largest economy. London's FTSE-100 stock market, the only large European index to post an increase, rose 0.2%. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Greece needs an extra 13-14 billion euros to cover its financial needs in 2015 and 2016, according to a report in Greek newspaper Ta Nea. The daily stressed that Athens would need extra funding even if it will not be granted more time to meet targets for deficit cuts. Meanwhile, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told German radio that giving Greece more time to make spending cuts will not resolve the heavily indebted country's problems. Greece reportedly wants a 2-3-year extension after upping spending cuts demanded by international lenders by two billion euros this week. Schaeuble added that Germany "recognizes" the difficult situation Athens is in, but the eurozone has reached the sustainable limit. The number of requests for unemployment benefits in the U.S. climbed last week by 4,000 to a one-month high of 372,000, showing little recovery in the employment sector, according to data released by the Labor Department.

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