October 11, 2017 / 7:23 AM / a year ago

Spanish stocks jump as Catalonia makes no formal independence declaration

LONDON, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Spanish stocks led a rebound in European shares on Wednesday as Catalonia's leader stopped short of declaring formal independence from Spain, allaying fears over a constitutional crisis in the region and boosting shares in banks.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.1 percent in early deals, while Spain's benchmark IBEX was the standout regional performer with a gain of 1.6 percent.

Spanish equities have lagged their European peers in October, having shed more than 1 percent so far this month, as concerns rose over tensions in the region following Catalonia's independence referendum on Oct. 1.

Concerns eased after Catalonia's leader Carles Puigdemont made only a symbolic declaration on Tuesday, claiming a mandate to launch secession but suspending any formal steps to that end.

Shares in Spanish banks Sabadell and Caixabank , which have moved their legal bases from Catalonia to other parts of Spain, rose around 2.4 percent, while peers BBVA and Santander gained more than 2 percent.

Spanish lenders led the euro zone banking index, which advanced 1 percent.

Elsewhere some early results were in focus, with shares in Mondi dropping 6.5 percent to the bottom of the STOXX after the paper and packaging manufacturer cut its full year guidance.

Shares in German food-processing machinery firm GEA Group were the top gainers, however, surging more than 7 percent after hedge fund Elliott revealed a stake in the firm.

Reporting by Kit Rees; Editing by Catherine Evans

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