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Madrid stocks slide before Catalonia votes

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Madrid stocks slide before Catalonia votes
File photo of the Madrid stock exchange. Photo: Curto de la Torre/AFP
14:01 CEST+02:00
The Madrid stock market sank on Friday, bucking an upwards trend in Europe as Spanish lawmakers were set to vote on the imposition of direct rule on independence-seeking Catalonia.

Meanwhile, Catalan separatist parties filed a resolution in the regional parliament Friday which, if passed, will mean they declare independence from Spain.

READ ALSO: 'We establish the Catalan republic as an independent state'

Madrid's benchmark IBEX 35 index of major companies shed about one percent in value in early afternoon deals.

"The IBEX 35 is the notable exception to Europe's positive move, as the market is in the red," said IG analyst David Madden.

"The Spanish Senate is expected to vote in favour of stripping Catalonia of its autonomous powers and impose direct rule from Madrid. Such a move is likely to stir up tensions in the region, and investors are staying clear of Spanish stocks."

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has asked the Senate for the go-ahead to depose Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and his executive in a bid to stop their independence drive.

READ ALSO: Rajoy asks Senate to remove Catalan government

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