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Europe: Stocks dip; Madrid slammed by Catalan vote
[LONDON] Europe's stock markets slid in initial deals on Friday, the last trading day before Christmas, with Madrid rocked by a victory for Catalan separatists in a snap poll.
Madrid's benchmark IBEX 35 index of top companies sank 1.54 per cent to 10,146.30 points, compared with the closing level on Thursday.
Catalonia plunged into further uncertainty Friday after separatists won a crucial snap poll called following a failed independence bid that rattled Europe and triggered Spain's worst political crisis in decades.
With turnout at a record high of 82 per cent, Thursday's election handed a mandate back to the region's ousted separatist leaders after they campaigned from exile and behind bars.
"Spanish stocks will be in focus today as dealers react to the outcome of the Catalan regional elections where the separatist parties won an absolute majority in the regional parliament," said CMC Markets analyst David Madden.
"This result will not be welcomed by the Madrid government who were hoping this snap election would reduce the calls for independence, and today's result will keep the issues on the table."
In opening deals elsewhere, London's FTSE 100 index shed 0.2 per cent to 7,586.02 points ahead of an early closure at 1230 GMT.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 declined almost 0.3 per cent to 13,076.76 points and the Paris CAC 40 also dipped about 0.3 per cent to 5,371.
Many investors meanwhile are away for extended Christmas and New Year festivities.
London faces a half-day session on Friday but Frankfurt, Madrid and Paris remain open as normal.
All four bourses will be shut next Monday and Tuesday for Christmas Day and Boxing Day, but re-open for business on Wednesday.