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Markets move as Catalonia crisis calms

Monday, October 30, 2017 - 01:54

Spain's control over Catalonia will be tested on Monday when politicians and civil servants return to work amid uncertainty over whether they will accept direct rule imposed by the central government to stop the region's independence bid. Laura Frykberg reports on the potential economic fallout from the crisis.

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A major display of solidarity - after weeks of division. On Sunday, protesters marched through Barcelona. Demanding Catalonia remain part of Spain. A day later, and perhaps that sentiment has sunk in. No sign of dissent by the newly sacked Catalan government. Or pro-independence protesters so far. SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) BARCELONA RESIDENT, MARIA JOSE GARCIA, 45, LAWYER, SAYING: "All this really gets to you. Social division is evident, worry and confrontation is evident, and I think most of us think this should end, either for one side or the other, but that it needs to end now." After a tumultuous Friday - which included a declaration of independence by Catalonia and Madrid imposing direct rule in response. Markets no doubt hoped this week would be calmer. So far it has been. Spanish equities opening 1.4 percent higher on Monday. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LCG SENIOR ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "A bit of a sense that actually that that crisis is dampening for the time being. As Spain reasserts control." Markets also reassured by a poll for December's snap election for the region, showing more support for pro-unity - than pro-independence parties. Spain's IBEX benchmark has increased too. Boosted by Caixabank and Banco de Sabadell, rising 4.2 percent and 3.6 respectively. (SOUNDBITE) (German) HEAD OF CAPITAL MARKETS ANALYSIS AT BAADER BANK, ROBERT HALVER, SAYING: "It makes sense economically, because an independent Catalonia would sooner or later become a poor country. Most Catalans who remember the euro crisis would rather be part of Spain and rich than independent and poor." Some strong economic numbers perhaps also weighing in on that argument for unity over division. Spain's economy - among the fastest expanding in Europe - is expected to grow 3 percent this year.

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Markets move as Catalonia crisis calms

Monday, October 30, 2017 - 01:54