Spain ETFs fall sharply after chaotic independence vote
Exchange-traded funds that track Spain's equity market fell on Monday, after an independence referendum in Spain's Catalonia region turned violent, leaving hundreds injured in clashes between police and voters. The iShares MSCI Spain Capped ETF (EWP) lost 2.2%, its biggest one-day percentage drop since Aug. 10. More than 800,000 shares exchanged hands in the first two hours of trading, putting it on track to easily eclipse its 30-day average of about 850,000. The decline came after more than 800 people in the northeastern region of Catalonia were injured in clashes with police, as they cast ballots, or tried to, in a vote Sunday that the central government had declared illegal. The region's leaders said the referendum results were overwhelmingly in favor of independence with 90% of 2.02 million votes in favor of a split. A declaration of independence could come within days, as separatists hold a majority in the Catalan parliament. Outside of the day's volatility, the region has been a strong performer thus far this year, with the ETF up 24.4%. The iShares Currency Hedged MSCI Spain ETF (HEWP) fell 1.7% on Monday. The euro fell 0.6% against the dollar. The S&P 500 rose 0.1% on Monday, bringing its year-to-date rise to 12.7%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3% and is up 13.7% for 2017.
-Ryan Vlastelica; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
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