Violent anti-austerity protests in Greece and Spain were watched closely in Europe’s financial markets as they illustrate the difficulties the region faces in getting out of the recession and financial crisis.
As a result Europe’s top shares suffered their biggest daily fall in two months.
Frankfurt trader Robert Halver with Baader Bank said: “You have to smile: Spain will ask for a bailout. It’s just that right now they’re in the process of negotiating the conditions. Spain doesn’t want to cut as much as other countries. They would like to have the money without too much reform. I am sure, Spain will get the money but the reforms will not be such that Spain suffers so much.”
Around Europe banks were the worst performers. Investors sold bank shares in reaction to disagreements among eurozone member countries on how best to boost the capital reserves of those struggling banks.