PARIS Feb 6 The Euro STOXX 50 Volatility Index
, or VSTOXX, Europe's widely-used measure of investor
risk aversion, hit a 2-1/2 month high on Wednesday afternoon as
European stocks resumed their sell-off.
The VSTOXX, based on put and call options on Euro STOXX 50
shares, is used to measure the cost of protecting
stock portfolios against corrections as it usually moves in the
opposite direction to cash equities.
It surged 12.5 percent to 21.62, its highest level since
mid-November, as the return of worries about Spain and Italy
prompted investors to hedge their equity portfolios in case of a
further retreat in stocks.