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European stocks fell after Spain’s borrowing costs surged to a euro-era record on waning demand at a bond sale, adding to concern the region’s sovereign debt crisis is deepening.
Spanish bonds sank, driving 10-year yields to as much as 6.78 percent, the highest since before the euro was introduced, as borrowing costs climbed to the most in at least seven years at an auction of securities. The benchmark yield was trading at 6.49 percent at 4:39 p.m.
In France, the extra yield, or spread, investors receive for holding 10-year French debt instead of benchmark German bunds reached 2 percentage points for the first time in the shared currency’s history as the country sold 8.01 billion euros of notes and bonds.
National benchmark indexes fell in all but one of the 18 western-European markets today. France’s CAC 40 slid 1.8 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 dropped 1.6 percent and Germany’s DAX lost 1.1 percent.
A gauge of European banks declined 2.2 percent as the three-month cross-currency basis swap, the rate banks pay to convert euro payments into dollars, reached 131 basis points below the euro interbank offered rate in London, the most expensive since December 2008.
BNP Paribas, France’s largest lender, fell 4.6 percent to 28.49 euros. Societe Generale slid 3.9 percent to 16.95 euros. Credit Agricole SA lost 4.7 percent to 4.43 euros. Deutsche Bank AG, Germany’s largest bank, declined 3.7 percent to 27.29 euros.
Copper tumbled the most in a week in London on concern Europe’s debt crisis may spread to other economies, potentially eroding demand for metals. Antofagasta Plc paced a selloff in mining shares, falling 6.1 percent to 1,103 pence, while Vedanta Resources Plc lost 6.9 percent to 1,014 pence and Xstrata Plc retreated 3.9 percent to 958.8 pence.
Voestalpine AG plunged 9.2 percent to 20.84 euros after Austria’s biggest steelmaker cut its profit outlook for the full year, citing a “difficult economic environment.”
ASML Holding NV, Europe’s biggest semiconductor-equipment maker, dropped 3.2 percent to 28.65 euros after Applied Materials Inc., the world’s largest producer of semiconductor- making equipment, forecast first-quarter earnings that missed analyst estimates.
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