Monday, 17 December, 2018

Dollar Index Soars as Euro Tanks on Italian Political Risks

Italy news REUTERS Italy news Carlo Cottarelli has been appointed the new PM
Kelvin Reese | 02 June, 2018, 16:21

Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index dropped 1.5 percent to 22,018.52. In Beijing, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported that senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol planned to head to the United States. Shares fell in Southeast Asia and Taiwan.

Elsewhere shares in Deutsche Bank recovered some of the previous session's heavy losses, climbing 3.6 percent higher following Thursday's drop of more than 7 percent in the after a report that the U.S. Federal Reserve past year designated the bank's U.S. operations to be in "troubled condition".

The S&P 500 index fell 31 points, or 1.2 percent, to 2,689.

The Dow in the US, which slid 505 points at its low, ended the day down 392 points, or 1.6%, at 24,361.45 as Wall Street reacted to the prospect of new elections in the eurozone's third-largest economy.

Elsewhere Spanish equities rose 1.8 percent after Spanish socialist Pedro Sanchez was catapulted to power, taking over as prime minister from veteran conservative Mariano Rajoy, who lost a no-confidence vote in the wake of a corruption scandal.

The yield on Italy's 10-year bond rose by about 0.4 percentage point to 3.1 percent.

In Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 sank 1.3 percent to 7,633 while France's CAC 40 fell 1.3 percent to 5,434.

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Investors dumped Italian government bonds, driving borrowing costs sharply higher for the country and rekindling fears of more financial strain for Europe's third-largest economy. That would force Italy to new elections in the fall, with Cottarelli heading an interim, caretaker government, raising fears that any upcoming election could in effect be a referendum on the country's continued use of the euro currency.

For a country to be eligible for OMT, it must be in a European Financial Stability Facility/European Stability Mechanism adjustment or precautionary program and support must be warranted from a monetary policy perspective.

In Asia, traders also fretted over the on-again, off-again U.S.

The new jitters about the stability of the euro sent the currency's value against the dollar to its lowest level in nearly a year.

Stock markets in Milan, Paris and Frankfurt tumbled, while the euro sank against the dollar with the eurozone facing its biggest upheaval since the Greek debt crisis. The gap between Italian and German 10-year bond yields closed at the widest spread in four years, another indication of political risk to the euro zone. In Europe, Italy's benchmark stock index plunged 2.7 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 57 cents to $67.31 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, used to price global oils, added 78 cents to $76.08 per barrel in London. Bank of America gave up 1.8 percent and Oracle lost 1.2 percent.

Asian markets were mostly lower, with traders keeping an eye on oil prices, which have tanked since Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation indicated they could lift output, having abided by a self-imposed cap for two years.

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