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Europe:Madrid stock market jumps at open

[LONDON] Madrid stocks soared in early trade on Wednesday after Catalonian leader Carles Puigdemont called for independence to be suspended to allow for talks with the Spanish government.

The Spanish capital's benchmark IBEX 35 index of top companies rallied 1.57 per cent to 10,301.50 points shortly after the open.

Other main European markets experienced tentative initial gains.

London's FTSE 100 index rose nearly 0.1 per cent to 7,541.79 points compared with the closing level on Tuesday.

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In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 index won 0.1 per cent to 12,965.28 points and the Paris CAC 40 also added 0.1 per cent to 5,367.38.

"Catalan separatists took a step back from their unilateral independence rhetoric and seem open to discussion with Madrid," noted Ipek Ozkardeska, analyst at trading firm London Capital Group.

"Catalonian President Puigdemont said that the October 1 referendum gave the Catalan government a mandate to pursue independence, but not immediately." Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will chair an emergency cabinet meeting in response to Mr Puigdemont's announcement on Tuesday that he had accepted "the mandate of the people for Catalonia to become an independent republic" following a banned referendum earlier this month.

But Mr Puigdemont in his declaration to parliament called for Catalonia's independence to be suspended pending negotiations with Madrid.

Mr Rajoy has vowed to use everything in his power to prevent independence and has refused to rule out imposing direct rule over the semi-autonomous region - an unprecedented move many fear could lead to unrest.

AFP