(MENAFN- AFP)The Spanish stock market tumbled Friday following an overnight victory for Catalan separatists in a snap poll, sparking fresh uncertainty.
Madrid's benchmark IBEX 35 index of top companies sank by 1.5 percent in morning deals before trimming losses.
The European single currency meanwhile declined against the dollar, having already stumbled as the Catalan result filtered across traders' screens.
Catalonia plunged into further uncertainty Friday after separatists won a crucial snap poll called following a failed independence bid that rattled Europe and triggered Spain's worst political crisis in decades.
With turnout at a record high of 82 percent, Thursday's election handed a mandate back to the region's ousted separatist leaders after they campaigned from exile and behind bars.
- 'Thorn in side of Madrid' -
"The IBEX 35 is firmly in the red," said CMC Markets analyst David Madden.
"This result will be a thorn in the side of the Madrid administration as it keep the independence issue on the table. While the political uncertainty hangs over Catalonia, investors will be looking to steer clear of Spanish stocks."
London's FTSE 100 index eked out slender gains ahead of an early closure at 1230 GMT.
Sentiment was partly lifted by confirmation that the British economy grew 0.4 percent in the third quarter, accelerating from 0.3 percent in the April-June period despite Brexit jitters.
The FTSE had spiked late Thursday to a record peak in a so-called "Santa rally", with many investors away for extended Christmas and New Year festivities.
Elsewhere, Frankfurt's DAX 30 declined 0.2 percent and the Paris CAC 40 dipped roughly 0.3 percent, shrouded by fresh uncertainty in Spain -- one of the eurozone's biggest economies.
"The calling of regional elections in Catalonia ... appears to have backfired for the Spanish government as the pro-independence parties won enough seats to form a regional coalition government," noted London Capital Group analyst Jasper Lawler.
The London stock market faces a half-day session on Friday but Frankfurt, Madrid and Paris trade as normal.
All four European bourses will be shut next Monday and Tuesday but re-open for business on Wednesday.
Most Asian markets went into the Christmas break on a positive note, picking up the baton from Wall Street.
Global equities have rallied over the past year on hopes Donald Trump's key election promise to cut taxes would boost corporate profits and put money in people's pockets, but traders cashed in their profits soon after the bill was passed this week.
However, buying perked up again Thursday on bets that the tax reform would further fire the already healthy US economy, while there was also cheer for news that lawmakers had agreed a deal to avert a painful government shutdown.
- Bitcoin slumps -
Bitcoin prices plunged by a quarter on Friday as investors cashed out just before Christmas after the volatile currency's stratospheric rise in recent weeks.
The precipitous drop comes after a series of warnings by analysts and governments about a bubble that could burst at any moment as investors, many inexperienced, piled into the unit hoping to enjoy some of the eye-watering gains.
The controversial cryptocurrency fell to just above $12,000.
That is down almost 40 percent down from its record high of $19,500 seen on Monday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
- Key figures around 1100 GMT -
Madrid - IBEX 35: DOWN 1.0 percent at 10,201.40 points
London - FTSE 100: UP 0.1 percent at 7,609.07
Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 0.2 percent at 13,088.30
Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.3 percent at 5,372.66
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.3 percent at 3,560.05
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.2 percent at 22,902.76 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.7 percent at 29,578.01 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.1 percent at 3,297.06 (close)
New York - DOW: UP 0.2 percent at 24,782.29 (close)
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1847 from $1.1876 at 2200 GMT
Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3390 from $1.3384
Dollar/yen: UP at 113.35 yen from 113.30 yen
Oil - Brent North Sea: DOWN 20 cents at $64.70 per barrel
Oil - West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 24 cents at $58.12
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