France, Italy, Spain Extend Shorting Curbs

Aug 25 2011 | 3:09pm ET

Three European countries extended their temporary bans of short-selling financial stocks as the investors worried about similar action by the continent’s largest country.

France’s Autorité des Marches Financiers said its ban, first imposed two weeks ago as part of an effort to tamp down on market volatility, could last until Nov. 11. Italian and Spanish regulators extended their restrictions through the end of September.

Belgium’s ban, introduced at the same time as those of France, Italy and Spain, is indefinite. Greece has also restricted short sales.

Despite the bans, volatility spiked in European trading today—mostly due to fears that Germany would impose a similar ban. Market watchers suggested that investors were shorting Germany’s DAX index out of a fear that their time to do so was short.

Germany’s market regulator, BaFin, said it was “not planning any changes of the short-selling rules which are already in place.”

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