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May 28, 2017

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Europe stocks rebound from bank scare; Asia muted

HONG KONG/MUMBAI--European stock markets rebounded Friday after slumping on worries about the soundness of a bank in Portugal, while trading in Asia was muted over the specter of more financial turmoil in Europe.

Germany's DAX was up 0.1 percent to 9,666.12 and the CAC-40 in France rose 0.5 percent to 4,320.68. The FTSE 100 in London gained 0.3 percent to 6,688.79.

Markets worldwide had fallen Thursday because of jitters about the financial stability of Portugal's Espirito Santo International, which reportedly missed a debt payment this week and was cited for accounting irregularities, echoing issues that sparked Europe's debt crisis four years ago.

On Wall Street the Dow fell 0.42 percent, the S&P 500 lost 0.41 percent and Nasdaq shed 0.52 percent.

Those losses followed a sell-off in Europe, where London, Frankfurt and Paris all saw hefty losses, while shares in Lisbon dived more than four percent.

"I suppose the question on investors' minds is whether this latest Portugal banking crisis will lead to contagion in the region," said IG strategist Stan Shamu said in a market commentary. "Judging by the reaction in the single currency, then possibly the market doesn't quite feel this is the case."

Trading in the bank's shares were suspended in Lisbon Thursday after its shares plummeted 17.24 percent.

The crisis comes less than two months after Portugal exited a three-year, US$106 billion international bailout which had helped the government avert a default.

It also revived memories of the eurozone sovereign and banking debt crisis of 2011 that saw a number of nations go to the wall.

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