Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Spain rattles markets, Greeks warned of catastrophe

(Reuters) - Spain's borrowing costs lurched higher and the Madrid stock market hit a nine-year low on Wednesday as investors rattled by deepening fears about its banking system fled to the relative haven of German bonds.

Spain's banking woes - the result of a burst property bubble aggravated by recession - have combined with growing uncertainty about Greece's survival in the euro zone to reignite Europe's sovereign debt crisis, driving the euro to a two-year low of $1.2454. European shares also extended their fall after Italy paid heavily to sell bonds.

Madrid said it will probably tap credit markets to inject funds into nationalized lender Bankia, but that looks expensive with 10-year borrowing costs at 6.67 percent near their euro era peak and close to levels at which Ireland and Greece sought international bail-outs.

The Economy Ministry played down a Financial Times report that the European Central Bank had rejected an initial plan to rescue Bankia, Spain's fourth biggest bank, by stuffing it with government bonds that could be used as collateral to borrow from the ECB. [ID:nL5E8GU39O] Read More