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European markets down on concerns over Italy

FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - The German DAX 30 (-1.65%), the French CAC 40 (-1.16%), the Italian FTSE MIB (-1.54%) and the Spanish IBEX 35 (-1.72%) are falling on Wednesday, along with the rest of equity markets in Europe. The EMU confidence report came in even worse than expected. March industrial confidence (from -11.3 to -12.5), services sentiment (from -5.3 to -6.7) and business climate (from -0.72 to -0.86) dropped below consensus (-12.0, -6.5 and -0.80, respectively). Consumer sentiment improved slightly from -23.6 to -23.5, as expected. Adding to that are worries of a rumored Italian downgrade, while investors are on their toes ahead of the re-opening of Cypriot banks tomorrow, as well as Italy’s Bersani talks with President Napolitano tomorrow regarding the progress of coalition negotiations.

Italian industrial orders fell -1.4% in January, with annualized data rebounding from -9.0% (revised from -15.3%) to -3.3%. Industrial sales dropped -1.4% and the yearly figure improved from -6.1% to -3.4%. The Spanish current account turned from €4.87B surplus to €-2.64B deficit in January. Retail sales rebounded from -10% to -8% (YoY) in February and HICP eased from 2.9% to 2.6% in March (consensus of 2.7%). Switzerland KOF Leading Indicator fell from 1.04 (revised from 1.03) to 0.99 in March, disappointing consensus of 1.02. French GDP eased from -0.3% in Q4 (QoQ), following a 0.1% rise.

The British FTSE 100 is down by -1.00%. The annualized GDP in the UK was actually of 0.2% growth in Q4, instead of the expected 0.3%. The Current Account deficit improved less than expected, from £-15.074B to £-14.037B (consensus at £-12.700B). Not as bad as expected was Total Business Investment, that fell from 3.8% to -0.8% in Q4, beating consensus of -1.2%.

Futures for the American S&P 500, Nasdaq 100 and Dow Jones 30 are signaling a lower opening by -0.50% ahead of US pending home sales.

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