Catalonia violence spooks European markets

Violence surrounding an independence vote in Catalonia spooks European markets and counters a boost from upbeat economic data. But as Silvia Antonioli reports, some in the travel sector get some relief.

(Reuters) – An explosion of violence in Catalonia

taking its toll on Spanish shares.

While a string of upbeat economic data offered global markets some relief

sentiment soured in Europe after Catalonia’s regional leader opened the door to a unilateral declaration of independence.

Catalans defied a violent police crackdown that injured more than 800 to vote in a independence referendum that Madrid declared unconstitutional.

And 90 percent of them voted for a break away.


“We have just overcome the euro crisis and libertarian efforts are not being well received. The EU has one big task: it has to mediate. But one thing is certain: if 90 per cent of the people in a region want freedom then they can’t be ignored. It’s the job of the Spanish central government to calm down the waves. Europe does not need any new conflicts.”

The Spanish IBEX stocks index and Catalonia-based Banco de Sabadell and Caixabank took a beating.

But it’s not all bad news.

Upbeat economic data from China and Japan lifted Asian shares

and strong manufacturing in the euro zone helped to counter the Spanish gloom.

A weaker euro also helped to lift European shares just enough to hit a fresh 3-month high.

Among the top gainers were EasyJet, Ryanair and Lufthansa

as investors bet they will gain from the collapse of their rival Monarch.

Some relief, for some at least, in what has proven to be a troubled sector.