Around the world's markets: Madrid

EXCITEMENT over European banking mergers petered out, and the blue-chip Ibex-35 index ended the day down 0.93 per cent, or 94.8 points, at 10,119.1.

Traders took profits after two banks, Argentaria and BBV, squashed the rumours by saying they were not in talks to merge. Argentaria lost 2.09 per cent to 22.97 euros, while BBC fell 2.08 per cent to 14.13 euros. The market has been expecting further activity since Banco Santander merged with BCH in January.

Sentiment was also depressed by a soft Wall Street. Traders said there was no definite direction to the market.