Stocks reversed earlier gains, turning lower in Europe as U.S. futures pared as many as 20 points of upside in overnight trading before turning lower on Monday, following a mixed session across most of Asia as investors weighed the outlook for equities after a roller coaster few weeks. Volumes were subdued with many banks closed for Veteran’s Day in the US. Futures on the Nasdaq were flat after large-cap tech shares on Friday dragged the gauge down 1.7%.
Europe saw a sharp selloff in both the EUR and GBP this morning, with the EURUSD breaching 1.1300 to the downside, the lowest print since July 2017 as Brexit deal momentum once again faded, while the Italian budget negotiation failed to make progress ahead of another looming deadline.
For the euro, Italy was the main focus, with Rome facing a Tuesday deadline to submit a revised budget to the EU, though it has so far refused to cut the draft budget deficit, setting the stage for a collision with Brussels. Bernd Berg, strategist at Woodman Asset Management, predicted the euro would tumble below $1.10 from the current $1.126 “as renewed eurozone and Brexit angst and a diverging economic outlook with a strong U.S. economy versus a weakening eurozone economy will trigger further euro selling pressure.”
The drop in Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index was led by household goods and real estate shares. Major European indices were mixed, with Germany’s DAX (-0.8%) lagging, weighed on by Infineon (-5.3%) following a projected revenue decline and SAP (-3.2%) after the company stated they are taking over Qualtrics International. UK’s FTSE 100 (+0.2%) outperformed thanks to the weaker pound and as several big names are in the green (BHP +2.8%, Shire +2.3%, Anglo American +2.0%) outweighing the significant losses for British American Tobacco (-9.1%) and Imperial Brands (-4.1%) following reports of FDA commissioner pursuing a ban on menthol cigarettes. Similarly, sectors are mixed with IT names lagging and energy names outperforming, with FTSE giant BP (+1.8%) benefiting from the rebound in oil.
Italian bonds fell ahead of supply and the government’s deadline to resubmit its 2019 budget on Tuesday where there appeared to be no progress, while Bunds follow gilts higher on a lack of progress in the Brexit talks; The 10y spread to Germany widened 4bps to 303bps while Bund gains were spurred by gilts, which outperform by 3bps as the latest Brexit impasse lowers the chances of a BOE rate hike before November 2019, even as the next 25bps BOE hike remains fully priced in for November 2019.
Markets were also spooked by reports that Banca Carige would need around 400 million euros ($451 million) to plug a hole in its capital base and Italy’s deposit protection fund could fill only part of it. CRG.IM was halted, limited down as a result.
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