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Around the World's Markets: Madrid

SPANISH STOCKS took a beating on fears of further mammoth losses among Spanish companies exposed to problems in Latin America.

The Ibex-35 index closed down 196 points, or 2.48 per cent, as international blue chips such as Telefonica, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya and Santander fell by more than 5 per cent. Utilities buoyed the index as investors rushed to find safe havens for their money.

Fear of devaluations in Latin America eased off slightly as trading closed.