* Madrid stock market rises after rebound in Spain economy
* Madrid outperforms dip in FTSEurofirst 300 index
* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.2 pct, ESTOXX 50 up 0.2 pct
* Buy into any dip - Central Markets trader
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, Jan 6 Spanish stocks rose to outperform
weaker European equity indexes on Monday, as signs of a rebound
in the Spanish economy lifted the Madrid market.
Spain's IBEX benchmark equity index rose by 0.7
percent in mid-session trading, making it the best-performing
regional European market.
The IBEX outperformed a 0.2 percent dip in the pan-European
FTSEurofirst 300 index as weak Chinese data weighed on
world stock markets.
France's CAC stock market underperformed by trading
flat, after a survey from data compiler Markit showed that a
contraction in the French services sector had accelerated in
By contrast, Spain's service sector registered its fastest
pace of growth in six-and-a-half years in December, fuelling
optimism the economy could expand more than expected in 2014.
Spain and Italy - another economy dubbed as a "peripheral"
European market compared to the "core" of Germany and France -
are slowly recovering from the euro zone's sovereign debt
crisis, and the rise in the IBEX also lifted Milan's FTSE MIB
stock market by 0.6 percent.
Some traders and investors feel there is more value in those
"peripheral" markets than the likes of France or Germany, with
the German DAX equity index having already hit record
"There's a real swing in momentum towards economies such as
Spain," said Scott Meech, co-head of European equities at Union
Bancaire Privee (UBP).
Meech's favoured Spanish stocks include Spanish bank
Bankinter, insurer Mapfre and media company
Meech added that a decline in Spanish government bond
yields, which fell to their lowest level since September 2010
last week, also indicated growing investors' confidence towards
"The Spanish bond yields are just shy of 4 percent, which is
only 80 basis points more than U.S. Treasuries," he said.
Clairinvest fund manager Ion-Marc Valahu also said he was
"overweight" on the peripheral European markets.
"I'm overweight on the periphery, as opposed to France and
Germany. There's still some value there," said Valahu.
Darren Courtney-Cook, head of trading at Central Markets
Investment Management, said there may be some short-term
pull-back on the European stock markets later this month as
investors look to cash in gains after the region's strong finish
The FTSEurofirst 300 rose 16 percent in 2013 to mark its
best annual gain since 2009, while the Euro STOXX 50 index rose
Courtney-Cook felt the Euro STOXX 50, which was up by 0.2
percent at 3,079.22 points, could fall down to the 2,950 point
level over the next 2 weeks, but added that traders should use
any such weakness to buy up stocks.
"There could be a pull-back, but you should buy into that
pull-back," he said.