Spanish stocks lead Europe lower as Catalonia dispute intensifies
By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch
German stocks head for fresh all-time high
European markets declined on Wednesday, with Spanish stocks leading the way south after Catalonia officials reiterated their pledge to declare independence in coming days.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index fell 0.2% to 390.10, on track to break a nine-day winning streak, its longest since July 2015.
"Spanish politics is acting as a drag on the positive read-across from the record highs on Wall Street. The resolve of regional officials in Catalonia to announce independence from Spain has caught markets off guard," said Jasper Lawler, head of research at London Capital Group, in a note.
"Given their turbulent history and strong ties to the economy, short-sellers will target Spanish banks during any political instability involving Catalonia," he added.
The IBEX 35 index was down 2% at 10,049.30, trading around its lowest level since March.
Shares of Banco de Sabadell SA (SAB.MC) fell 4.7%, CaixaBank SA (CABK.MC) lost 4.6%, Bankia SA (BKIA.MC) gave up 3.3% and BBVA SA (BBVA) (BBVA) slid 2.6%.