EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Trade Mixed As Investors Absorb Catalonia Developments

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Spanish stocks rebound after worst selloff in 15 months

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European stocks traded mixed on Thursday as investors continued to monitor political developments in Spain where the rift between Madrid and separatists in Catalonia deepened.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index was down 0.2% at 389.78, weighed by losses for drugmakers.

Spain's IBEX 35 index rose 0.7% to 10,029.20, rebounding after posting its biggest loss in 15 months on Wednesday. Spanish assets have been battered in recent days after scenes of violence from Sunday's independence referendum in Catalonia went global and Madrid declared the vote illegal.

The standoff between the central government and the secessionists deepened on Wednesday after separatist parties set out a course to declare independence on Monday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/catalonias-secession-from-spain-may-come-as-soon-as-monday-2017-10-04), requesting the regional parliament meet that day to discuss the referendum result. About 90% voted for independence, but less than 50% of the Catalan people participated in the referendum.

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont in a televised address on Wednesday night said he's open to a mediation process (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/catalan-president-puigdemont-says-he-remains-open-to-mediation-reports-2017-10-04), but that the government has rejected this. He also accused King Felipe VI of acting as a mouthpiece for Madrid, saying the king's speech on Tuesday had "disappointed many in Catalonia, who appreciate you...[and] expected another tone from you, a plea for dialogue and harmony."

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Other indexes: Germany's DAX 30 index was down 0.1% at 12,956.51, after scoring a record close on Wednesday.

France's CAC 40 index rose 0.1% to 5,367.11, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 added 0.2% to 7,479.50.

The euro climbed to $1.1774 from $1.1761 late Wednesday in New York.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 05, 2017 05:03 ET (09:03 GMT)