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 Spain Borrowing Costs Rise but Unemployment Down

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PostSubject: Spain Borrowing Costs Rise but Unemployment Down   Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:39 am

Wary investors pushed up Spain’s borrowing costs on Wednesday as a debt downgrade from last week cast a shadow over the country’s efforts to avoid a Greek-style debt crisis. Good news on the jobs market seemed to give markets little cheer.

The spread — the difference in the interest rates between the Spanish bond and its German equivalent — reached 176 basis points, or 1.76 percentage points, at midday Wednesday.

The figure is a key indicator of how risky markets think Spain is. The bigger the spread, the less confidence in Spain’s government finances. The record spread had been 164 points on May 7, but that was surpassed Tuesday when it reached 173. As recently as April, the spread was as low as 100 basis points.

The good news was that the number of people seeking unemployment benefits in Spain fell by more than 76,000 in May as companies started hiring for the summer tourism season, the Labor Ministry said. It was the second straight monthly decline and the largest drop for the month of May since 2005.

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