Europe News

Will Stocks Resist 'Anything but Utmost Catastrophe'?

Stock markets have taken such a beating over the past few months that they are now more resilient to any upheavals, apart from a complete breakdown of the euro zone, an analyst told CNBC Thursday.

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"We've managed to get through all of these bond auctions in all of these markets with some measure of success.

A failure would be a setback but even then it's not too critical," Richard Harris, CEO at Quam Asset Management.

"Equity markets have been really beaten down over the last six months to a year and they now look reasonably resistant to anything but utmost catastrophe," he said.

However, he conceded that there was still a long way to go before Europe's debt crisis was resolved with the situation more like being 'one step up and two steps down'.

"We have to jump through a lot of hurdles over the next three or four months, we have the bond auctions today, the Spanish elections will be very interesting, which might not be conclusive on Sunday, you have a whole bunch of technocrats and I am sure the French triple A (rating) is going to go sometime and that will be another blow to markets," he added.

Both Spain and France held unimpressive bond auctions Thursday - some bond yields hit euro-era highs -as fears that the crisis would engulf the bigger euro zone economies persisted.

He said that it was now likely that the euro would survive with the worst case being the loss of a few countries despite European leaders adopting the 'sticking plaster' over the wound method rather than seeking an outright fix.

Steven Bell, chief economist at GLC, disagreed saying the situation in Europe was now so serious it threatened even Germany, whose "economic miracle" Bell said was now at an end.

"The end game for this may be Germany shouldering the financial responsibility for this, yet every time a crack appears in Spain or Italy or anywhere else people buy Bunds.

Now the only thing you can hold in Europe is Bunds. That is a ridiculous situation," Bell told CNBC.

He said German banks and companies were suffering to the point where Germany was now in a recession.

"This is entirely and completely a result of failing to sort out this European crisis. I'm not optimistic about the ability of Europe's many and varied political leaders to come to that solution quickly," Bell added.