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Italy's leading financial index rises during trading Tuesday

Spread between Italian, German bonds at 213 basis points

04 February, 20:13
Italy's leading financial index rises during trading Tuesday (ANSA) - Milan, February 4 - Italy's leading financial index joined most other European markets to show small gains Tuesday, signs of a recovery after disappointing news from the United States economy one day earlier.

The FTSE Mib ended the trading day slightly higher, rising by 0.60% to close at 19,019 points, as markets tried to move on after Monday's weak report from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), a trade group of purchasing managers, suggested that the US manufacturing sector had barely grown last month.

The ISM's index of manufacturing activity in the US fell to 51.3 in January from 56.5 in December, the weakest reading since last May.

That triggered concerns that the US economy might not be as strong as expected.

Adding to investors' concerns, official data released during the weekend showed that China's manufacturing activity hit a five-month low in January.

Still, on the Italian bond market, the spread between Italy's benchmark 10-year bond and its ultra-safe German counterpart remained steady, closing at 213 basis points with the yield on Italy's 10-year paper ending trading at 3.78%.

The spread between lending rates in the two countries is an important indication of investor faith in the Italian economy.

On other European markets Spain's IBEX 35 rose by 0.30%, closing at 9,754.40 and Frankfurt's DAX slid lower by 0.64%, closing at 9,127.91 points.

In Paris, the CAC 40 gained 0.24%, ending trading at 4,117.45 points, while in London, the FTSE index of leading British shares fell by 0.25% on the day, closing at 6,449.27.