DAX, IBEX push European shares higher as Catalonia worries ease

LONDON (Reuters) - European shares rose on Monday, with Germany’s DAX touching a new record high and Spain’s IBEX its highest for a week, as political risk concerns over Catalonia eased a day after a demonstration in Barcelona against independence.

The German share price index, DAX board, is seen at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, October 9, 2017. REUTERS/Staff/Remote

Following four consecutive weeks of gains, the pan-European STOXX 600 .STOXX rose 0.2 percent while the DAX .GDAXI rose 0.2 percent at an all-time closing peak.

The IBEX .IBEX rebounded 0.5 percent with Caixabank CABK.MC gaining 1.4 percent after its board agreed to move its registered office to Valencia.

Banco de Sabadell SABE.MC, which already announced the same move, rose 0.9 percent.

Other firms including Gas Natural GAS.MC, Albertis ABE.MC, Inmobiliara Colonial COL.MC, are also considering joining a corporate exodus out of the affluent northeastern province, which is putting pressure on Catalonia's separatist leaders to back down.

“There is hope in the markets that independence will not be declared and the worst case will be avoided,” Gautam Batra, head of investments at Mediolanum Asset Management told Reuters.

He said he thought things were likely to get worse before they got better, however, as Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont is expected to address the region’s parliament on Tuesday, when he could unilaterally declare independence.

“I would urge caution going through tomorrow,” Batra said, noting that volatility, which has been extremely low in the last months, could suddenly rise again.

A slight rebound for the pound, which has been hit by British Prime Minister Theresa May's struggle to maintain authority over her cabinet, weighed on the FTSE .FTSE, which fell 0.2 percent.

On the corporate front, Airbus AIR.PA was the top loser in France, down 2.3 percent after its CEO warned a corruption investigation could lead to large corporate penalties.

Credit Agricole CAGR.PA fell 1.2 percent after its CEO indicated it would join the line of potential suitors for Commerzbank CBKG.DE should the German government want to sell its 15 percent stake.

Commerzbank rose 0.4 percent. Also on the German market, shares in potash miner K+S SDFGn.DE fell 8.2 percent after a disappointing strategy update.

Air France KLM AIRF.PA fell 1.2 percent after it reported September traffic data.

Germany's B.Z. newspaper reported that talks between insolvent carrier Air Berlin and easyJet EZJ.L over the sale of up to 30 planes were at risk of falling apart. The British low-cost carrier, for which HSBC cut its target price to 1500p from 1550p, lost 2.1 percent.

Reporting by Julien Ponthus and Helen Reid; additional reporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Georgina Prodhan, John Stonestreet and Peter Graff