Spanish shares outpace flat European bourses on growth bets

jueves 3 de abril de 2014 06:59 GYT

* Spanish shares rise after strong services PMI

* FTSEurofirst 300 dips 0.1 pct, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.1 pct

* Eyes on ECB decision at 1145 GMT, conference at 1230 GMT

By Francesco Canepa

LONDON, April 3 (Reuters) - Spanish shares outperformed flat European markets on Thursday as strong services sector data strengthened investor optimism about an economic recovery in the struggling Mediterranean country.

Investors refrained from making large bets on pan-European indexes as they waited to see whether the European Central Bank, at a policy meeting, would offer more signs it is ready to take steps to stop disinflation becoming deflation.

Spain's Ibex index, however, rose 0.7 percent, taking its rise since its March low to around 8 percent, as data showed the country's service sector expanded more than expected last month, fuelling hopes of overall economic growth in the first quarter.

Shares exposed to Spain's own economy, such as domestic lender Bankia and broadcaster Mediaset Espana led risers on the Ibex, both adding around 2 percent.

The Ibex as a whole has risen nearly 40 percent since late June 2013 as the country began to emerge from a deep recession. The index has outperformed its peers in core European countries, such as Germany's Dax.   Continuación...