AINSLEY THOMSON, QUENTIN FOTTRELL And DAVID ROMAN
Friday, November 26, 2010
BERLIN—The euro zone’s sovereign debt crisis escalated Friday as the market homed in on Spain as another potential weak spot, leaving officials scrambling to quell investors’ fears.
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero moved to dispel the growing anxiety surrounding the country’s fiscal position Friday, saying there was “absolutely” no chance the euro zone’s fourth-largest economy would seek a bailout from the European Union. But his attempt to calm the markets had little effect, with the euro tumbling and the selloff in Spanish and Portuguese sovereign bonds continuing.
(ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW)
“If we continue to see the recent trend in Spanish bond yields then the crisis is going to be taken to a completely new level, as Spain accounts for approximately 11.7% of euro-zone [gross domestic product] which is pretty much double the figure of Ireland, Portugal and Greece [combined],” said Gary Jenkins, head of fixed-income research at Evolution Securities.
Sparking Friday’s markets turmoil was a report in Friday’s Financial Times Deutschland, which quoted unnamed German finance ministry officials as saying an aid package for Portugal would reduce the chances that Spain would also need a bailout.
Full story here.