Monday, February 25, 2013
Italian elections hit U.S. stocks as initial promise over the results turned to worry as former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's coaliation seemed to secure the upper house of Parliament. This led traders to believe Italian politics will be in stalemate and reforms required by the EU might stall or reverse. After a strong surge to start the day, stocks reversed sharply with the S&P 500 down 1.8% and the NASDAQ falling 1.4%.
Oil fell 0.2% to $93.11, gold added 0.9% to $1586.60 and silver jumped 1.9% to $28.99.
European markets closed before the election data surfaced; the FTSE 100 added 0.3%, the German DAX 1.45% and the French CAC-40 0.4%.
Japan gained 2.4% while China gained 0.5%.
- HSBC said its "flash" index of Chinese purchasing managers' sentiment fell to 50.4 in February from January's final reading of 52.3. Any reading above 50 signals expansion in the manufacturing sector. The index is now at a 4-month low but the Lunar New Year affected results. Many Chinese factories shut down during the holiday as workers return to the countryside.
- The Japanese government plans to nominate Haruhiko Kuroda for the governorship of the central bank. The current head of the Asian Development Bank, Mr. Kuroda is regarded as a supporter of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's monetary easing goals.