An exchange traded fund indexed to Spain’s equity market dropped to the lowest level in three years on Tuesday as the country’s bond yields spiked on renewed European debt fears.
The iShares MSCI Spain Index Fund (NYSEArca: EWP) fell 2.2% in afternoon trading while in the U.S., the Dow slipped 170 points.
“The market pressure was due both to wariness over Spain’s ability to cut its national debt levels as well as a drop of confidence in wider global financial markets following weak U.S. economic data on Friday,” the Associated Press reported.
The Spain ETF has shed a third of its value over the past year.
“Things are unraveling in Europe at a startling pace. The country in the greatest danger is Spain, which could become the fourth member of the Eurozone to require a bailout, following Greece, Ireland, and Portugal,” Bloomberg News reported, noting that Spain’s sovereign debt is about twice the debt of the three countries combined.
Yields on 10-year Spanish bonds jumped to nearly 6%.
“Spain is refocusing the market’s attention to some of the stresses going on in Spain and Portugal,” said Matt Freund, senior vice president of portfolio management at USAA Investments, in a Dow Jones Newswires report. “The yields are giving investors a chance to refocus on those issues.”
European ETFs suffered across-the-board losses in Tuesday’s sell-off — iShares MSCI Italy Index Fund (NYSEArca: EWI) led the way lower with a roughly 4% decline.
iShares MSCI Spain Index Fund