RPT-Scotland's "No" to independence boosts Spanish bond, stock markets

viernes 19 de septiembre de 2014 07:10 GYT
 

(Repeats to additional subscribers)
    * Scots spurn independence, Spanish yields fall sharply
    * Spain's IBEX outperforms European stock indexes
    * Some analysts still see Catalonia a risk in the long run

 (Updates prices, adds new quote)
    By Marius Zaharia and Sudip Kar-Gupta
    LONDON, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Spanish bonds and stocks were
Europe's top performers on Friday as markets viewed Scotland's
vote against independence as diminishing prospects of a stronger
push for secession in Catalonia.
    Scotland rejected independence in a historic vote that had
threatened to rip the United Kingdom apart and bolster
separatist movements elsewhere. 
    here
    The most closely watched region within the euro zone was
wealthy Catalonia in north-eastern Spain, which is planning an
independence referendum of its own in November, albeit one that
is not recognised by the Spanish government.
    The region accounts for a fifth of Spain's economic output
and is a net contributor to the central budget. Separation 
would threaten Madrid's ability to repay its large debt pile. 
    Spanish 10-year government bond yields fell 7
basis points to 2.21 percent, leading a drop in yields across
the euro zone periphery. As the risk of a Scottish breakaway
from the UK was perceived to be on the rise in the past two
weeks, Spanish yields surged to as high as 2.40 percent from
record lows of just above 2 percent. 
    "There was some concern that if the "Yes" vote won, then a
similar situation might develop in Catalonia," said Patrick
Jacq, rate strategist at BNP Paribas. 
    "So we're seeing a correction over the movement that we've
seen over the past few weeks." 
    Spain's IBEX stock index rose 1.2 percent to
11,121.3 points, outperforming its European peers. The
pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index gained 0.9 percent
to 1410.13.
    "The result is ... a tonic to financial markets in Europe,
where politicians in Spain in particular will be relieved that
Catalonian secessionist fires have not been further stoked,"
said Guy Ellison, head of equities at Investec Wealth &
Investment.
    Ten-year German yields, the benchmark for euro
zone borrowing costs, were flat at 1.04 percent.
 
    
    "PRECEDENT"
    Some analysts doubted that Catalonia's push for a referendum
would lose much steam after Scotland's vote. 
    Commerzbank strategists recommended using any relief rally
in Spanish bonds as an opportunity to reduce exposure "as the
political risks in Spain likely won't go away before November."
    Jan von Gerich, chief fixed income analyst at Nordea,
expected Spanish bonds to be "the biggest beneficiary" of the
Scottish vote within the euro zone.
    "But there will still be focus on what's going on in
Catalonia," he said.
    "It sets some kind of precedent that you can solve this type
of problem with a referendum ... I don't think this issue is
going to go away just because Scotland voted 'No'."
    Michel Juvet, chief investment officer at Swiss bank
Bordier, cautioned that European separatist movements could be
encouraged by how Scotland had managed to secure pledges of new
powers for its regional government. 
    "The Scottish vote is helping the Spanish market, but the
'No' vote in Scotland does not mean the end of separatist
movements," Juvet said.

 (Graphic by Monica Ulmanu; Editing by Nigel Stephenson and
Susan Fenton)