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European stocks erased gains in the final hour of trading, led by a selloff in Spanish and Italian lenders, as optimism faded that Spain’s 100 billion euro ($125 billion) bank bailout will contain the sovereign debt crisis.
The Spanish state’s bank-rescue fund, known as FROB, will receive the money and extend it to lenders. The sum is equivalent to about 10 percent of Spain’s gross domestic product. FROB debt counts as public debt, which amounted to 69 percent of GDP last year.
National benchmark indexes fell in 12 out of 18 western European markets. Germany’s DAX climbed 0.2 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.1 percent and France’s CAC 40 slid 0.3 percent.
Italian lenders declined as the country’s 10-year bonds reversed an earlier advance with investors betting the country is now at the frontline of Europe’s financial woes. UniCredit SpA dropped 8.8 percent to 2.48 euros, Mediobanca SpA slid 5.6 percent to 3.05 euros and Intesa Sanpaolo SpA dropped 5.9 percent to 1.03 euros.
Volkswagen AG increased 1.3 percent to 123.45 euros and Porsche SE rose 2.4 percent to 41.41 euros after VW was said to have cleared an important hurdle toward buying the 50.1 percent of the Porsche sports-car business that it doesn’t already own.
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