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Milan stock exchange rises by 1.6% to pre-crisis levels

FTSE Mib surpasses 20,000 points, European indexes soaring

15 January, 19:59
Milan stock exchange rises by 1.6% to pre-crisis levels (ANSA) - Milan, January 15 - Milan's leading stock exchange, the FTSE Mib, passed the 20,000-point mark late Wednesday afternoon - a level last seen in July 2011 before a devastating eurozone crisis hit Italy - and ended the day's trading up by 1.6%.

The FTSE Mib closed at 20,045 points after passing the 20,000 mark last seen July 5, 2011.

The spread between Italy's 10-year bond and German Bunds closed at 203 points, down from 207 basis points at Tuesday's close, with the yield on Italian ten-year paper at 3.86%. The spread between ultra-safe German bonds and the Italian equivalent gives an indication of how investors view prospects for the Italian economy.

Markets cheered as the FTSE Mib passed 20,000 points, a sort of benchmark for the pre-crisis period.

Soon after the Milan index last saw that level, financial markets were hit hard as the eurozone crisis began, combining a government debt crisis, a banking crisis and a growth-and-competitive crisis.

While the crisis started in Greece, it quickly struck at confidence in numerous other European markets - including Italy.

For months it was feared that Italy would fall into a Greek-style meltdown, a situation that led to the resignation of former premier Silvio Berlusconi in November 2011 and the appointment of a caretaker government headed by former European commissioner Mario Monti.

Almost all of Europe's major stock exchange indexes were rising at the end of the trading day Wednesday. Frankfurt's DAX hit a new record at 9,733.81 points after rising by 2.03%, while Paris was up 1.35% with the CAC 40 at 4,332.07, London was up by 0.78% with the FTSE 100 at 6,819.86, and Madrid rose 1.38% leading the IBEX 35 to close at 10,525.00.