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FINANCIAL MARKETS

Bourses rise as investors factor in expectations of stronger recovery

Spain may revise upward its 2014 GDP forecast

The Spanish stock market along with the rest of the European bourses enjoyed a good session on Wednesday as investors turned more positive about the pace of the economic recovery.

The Spanish blue-chip Ibex 35 put on 1.38 percent to 10,525.00 points, its highest level since May 2011. In Frankfurt, the DAX advanced 2.03 percent, while the CAC 40 in Paris gained 1.35 percent.

The Spanish secretary of state for the economy, Fernando Jiménez Latorre, said Wednesday that the government now estimates the economy contracted 1.2 percent last year when it previously calculated it had shrunk by 1.3 percent.

Latorre also said the government may revise upward its forecasts for this year, which he said were on the conservative side. The administration is forecasting GDP to grow 0.7 percent, compared with a consensus forecast by think-tank Funcas’ panel of analysts of 0.9 percent.

Bank stocks particularly benefited after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi explained that sovereign debt held by European lenders would not be priced at current market levels in forthcoming stress tests they will be subjected to. This will avoid them having to making further capital increases to boost their solvency.

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