Italy gridlock shakes up global markets

30 May, 2018, 23:49 | Author: Mary Valdez
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 376.91 points, or 1.52 percent, to 24,376.18, the S&P 500 lost 30.88 points, or 1.13 percent, to 2,690.45 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 36.31 points, or 0.49 percent, to 7,397.54.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan tumbled 1.5 percent, while Japan's Nikkei average sold off as much 1.9 percent to hit a six-week low. Shares of S&P 500 banks registered their biggest one-day decline in more than two months, ending more than 4 percent lower. The Russell 2000 index fell far less than the Dow, giving up 0.2 per cent to 1,623.65.

USA crude futures retreated 0.4 percent to $66.46 per barrel, extended falls after declining for five consecutive sessions.

Ignazio Visco, governor of the Bank of Italy, intervened as Italian two-year bonds suffered their biggest sell-off in nearly three decades, global stock markets tumbled and the euro dropped by another 0.8 per cent.

Italy has been unable to assemble a coalition government since inconclusive elections in March, which saw the rise of anti-establishment parties that support leaving the euro. That could have major implications for the European financial system and its economy.

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"Worries over geopolitics look set to hit Asia after sweeping through Europe and also the U.S. at the start of the week. That being said, a heavy data calendar from Wednesday could shift some attention back to economic growth and monetary policy", Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary.

New worries about the euro sent the currency to its lowest level against the dollar in almost a year.

Safe-haven U.S. Treasury bonds and German bunds rallied, as did the Japanese yen, the U.S. dollar and gold. The dollar fell to 108.53 yen from 109.77 yen.

"It's evolving into not the greatest environment for bank stocks", said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in NY.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on May 29, 2018 in New York City. Oil prices have slumped in the last week following reports that OPEC countries and Russian Federation could start pumping more oil soon.

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