Lunedì, 24 Settembre 2018
MILAN

European markets hammered by Italian election uncertainty

English
© ANSA

Milan, February 26 - Investors hammered European
markets Tuesday after inconclusive Italian elections led to new
worries that the eurozone crisis may once again reignite.
The first signs of the massive sell-off that was to hit
Europe were seen at the open of Asian markets Tuesday, with
Japan's Nikkei 225 shedding 2.3% to close at 11,398.8.
In Europe, Italy's FTSE-Mib led losses, closing down 4.9%
at 15,552.2, followed by Spain's IBEX 35, down 3.2% at 7,980.7.
Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 also ended the day in the
red, down respectively 2.3% at 7,579.1, and 2.7%, at 3,621.9.
London's FTSE 100 was the best performer in Europe, closing
down 1.3% at 6,270.4.
Renewed investor worries that Italy would have difficulty
meeting its debt obligations pushed up yields on the country's
10-year bonds, which jumped nearly half a percentage point in
the early afternoon, when they traded at 4.84%, their highest
level this year.
Bond yields ended the day at 4.9%.
Meanwhile, the spread between Italian and German debt, an
indicator of investor confidence in Italian government paper,
jumped to 344 basis points from Monday's close of 293 points.
The spread peaked at 350 points earlier in the afternoon.
Spanish bonds also felt the pain, with yields more than
0.2% higher, while Portuguese and Greek bonds also suffered.
Italy's banks - which suffer most when borrowing costs rise
- were the loss leaders in Milan, with some being suspended for
excessive volatility.
Shares in banking giants Unicredit and Intesa Sanpaolo
ended the day down 8.5% and 9.1%, respectively, with Italy's
stock-market regulator suspending short-selling shares in the
latter.
Meanwhile, Banco Popolare closed down 10.3%, Mediobanca
lost 8.6% and BPM closed down 5.7%.

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