EZ Looking at Role Reversal

Stocks in weaker euro zone countries like Spain and Italy look set to outperform their stronger peers this year, analysts say.

Stock markets in the euro zone’s peripheral countries of Portugal, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Cyprus and Greece have performed strongly in 2013, boosted by waning fears of a euro zone breakup and the ultra-loose monetary policy of the European Central Bank.

By Tuesday, the Madrid stock exchange had risen 19 percent year-to-date while Italian stocks were around 16 percent higher and the Athens index had gained nearly 30 percent.  Banks forecast further strong gains, thanks to improving growth prospects, better current account balances and the diminishing risk that there could be further sovereign defaults.


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