Italy bond selloff sends euro to 6-1/2 month lows

Italian concerns knock stocks, euro off early highs

Asian markets track European losses, strong yen hits Nikkei | Charlotte Observer

Overnight relief on Wall Street helped the FTSE start the day higher but uncertainty over Italy's domestic politics continues to cast shadows over European markets. The decrease in bond yields is hurting banks. China's official factory gauge rose more than estimated in May while services also improved, signaling that the expansion remains robust even as debt curbs and trade tensions with the US cloud the outlook. Gold and platinum producer Anglo American traded 2.76% higher at 1,846.60 while Rio Tinto, Glencore and Chilean miner Antofagasta were also among the top ten movers higher.

The specter of a financial crisis came back to haunt Italy on Tuesday, as its markets plunged on fears that the eurozone's third-largest economy is heading toward another election that could shape up to be a referendum on whether to stay in the common currency.

Mr Conte, whom the president had tapped as premier-designate before former International Monetary Fund official Carlo Cottarelli, relinquished his mandate. Compared to the previous year, unemployment fell 1.088 million.

Elsewhere the Shanghai Composite index fell 2%, Australia's S&P ASX 200 fell 0.6% and shares also fell in Southeast Asia and Taiwan.

The EU's statistics authority, Eurostat, said inflation in the eurozone jumped to 1.9 percent in May, a sharp pick-up from the 1.2 percent recorded in April.

The euro dived against the dollar and yen Tuesday to lows not seen since mid-2017 and it extended the losses in Asian trade. The pound seems to have shrugged off the news and traded up 0.3% against the dollar. The single currency hit a nine-month low of 1.1367 against the franc and a 10-month low of 124.61 yen.

Such worries have resulted in a big sell-off of Italian debt and a surge in safe-haven German bond prices.

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An aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in Singapore on Monday night, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported, and the White House said a "pre-advance" team was travelling to the city to meet the North Koreans.

The reports indicate that planning for the summit, initially scheduled for June 12, is moving ahead after President Donald Trump called it off last week.

Mattarella then turned to Cottarelli to form a neutral government of technocrats to lead Italy until early elections.

USA crude futures tumbled to six-week lows and looked set for a fifth straight day of declines. It dropped 1.7 per cent to $66.73 a barrel in NY.

Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, added 32 cents to $75.64 per barrel in London.

Oil struggled under pressure from expectations that Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation would pump more oil to counter potential supply shortfalls from Venezuela and Iran, even as US output has surged in recent years. Brent crude, used to price global oils, shed 38 cents to $75.11 a barrel in London.

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