European shares cut losses on Berlusconi resignation talk

2011-11-07 13:00

Paris – European stocks pared losses today on intensifying market talk that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi could resign soon, easing fears over the country’s ability to deal with its debt pile.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.4% at 976.24 points after falling by nearly 2% in early trade.

Italy’s FTSE MIB, meanwhile, reversed early losses to trade up 1.9%.

“It’s the rumour on Berlusconi that helps the market trim its losses. The market was down on concerns over Italy, so the only possible trigger for a bounce has to come from Italy,” said David Thebault, head of quantitative sales trading at Global Equities in Paris.

But Berlusconi has dismissed the rumours that he was on the point of resigning, a senior legislator in his ruling centre-right coalition said today.

“I spoke to the prime minister a short time ago and he told me the rumours of his resignation were baseless,” Fabrizio Cicchitto, head of the parliamentary group of Berlusconi’s PDL party said in a statement.

Separately, Italian news agency Ansa quoted Berlusconi, also dismissing the talk as baseless.

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