Monday Morning Briefing: Italy’s No Vote Roils Euro, Asia Opens Weak
The shock waves from Italy’s constitutional referendum results hit global equity and currency markets.
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned after results of Sunday’s vote showed his bid to reform legislative decision-making had been voted down. The euro slumped to its lowest level in 20 months, while Asian markets opened lower.
Renzi Takes Responsibility
Renzi said he will submit his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella after exit polls showing about 59 percent of Italians had voted against his plans to rein in the powers of the Senate.
I have lost. We gave the Italians an opportunity to change, but we didn’t succeed.Matteo Renzi, Outgoing Prime Minister, Italy
The ‘No’ vote was supported by populist parties, including the ‘Five Star Movement’ spearheaded by comedian Beppe Grillo.
Euro retreated with riskier assets, while bonds advanced, as the referendum was seen as a vote on Italy’s future within Europe.
U.S. equity markets closed Friday’s session on a mixed note, after divergent jobs data damped the outlook for interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.
Employers added 178,000 workers to payrolls in November, and the jobless rate unexpectedly tumbled 0.3 percentage point to a nine-year low of 4.6 percent, according to the Labor Department’s report on Friday.
The odds of the Fed raising interest rates in its December 13-14 meeting, however, remained unchanged at 100 percent, according to futures rates tracked by Bloomberg.
Commodities Under Presssure
Oil fell from the highest close in sixteen months after U.S. rig count rose for the fifth consecutive week to the highest level since January, according to data from Baker Hughes Inc.
U.S. producers are preparing to boost output even as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed last week to reduce production for the first time in eight years.
Gold pared gains after initially rallying as Italy’s no vote spurred demand for haven assets. The yellow metal rose 0.5 percent on Friday, snapping a three-session losing streak.
The SGX Nifty index traded largely unchanged at 8,110 as of 7:15 a.m., indicating a quiet start for Indian equities. Benchmark indices closed Friday’s session with losses of around 1.3 percent each.