European markets to open lower amid political uncertainty in Italy

Big 5

European markets are expected to open slightly lower Wednesday morning, as investors digest the latest political developments in Italy.

Britain’s FTSE 100 was seen trading 16 points lower at 7,222, Germany’s DAX down 14 points at 11,967, the French CAC off by 6 points at 5,314 and the Italian FTSE MIB 33 points lower at 19,970, according to IG index data.

Over in Asia, stocks followed the mixed sentiment on Wall Street, struggling to find direction amid fears over global economic growth. In the U.S., investors have been anxiously watching the debt markets, concerned by surging interest rates. However, bond yields were seen paring gains overnight, with U.S. 10-year and 30-year Treasury yields coming off multi-year highs.

President Donald Trump once again attacked the Federal Reserve on Tuesday, saying he did not think the central bank should run rates too hot and that the U.S. should be cautious not to slow down the economy when inflation is minimal.

Back in Europe, traders are keeping an eye on political goings-on in Italy, as fears linger of a standoff between Rome and the European Union over the country’s 2019 budget.

Giovanni Tria, Italy’s finance minister, promised on Tuesday the government would do what is necessary to restore calm if market jitters turn into a crisis. However, Deputy Prime Ministers Luigi Di Maio and Matteo Salvini said that same day stood their ground on the country’s budget and deficit plans.

Elsewhere, Brexit continues to be an area of focus for the market, as the U.K. government faces pressure to reach a divorce deal with the European Union before the end of the year. Britain’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, a trade body representing the automotive sector, launched a contingency plan called the “Brexit Readiness Program” on Wednesday, aimed at protecting the industry’s supply chain.

In corporate news, U.S. cable giant Comcast’s $40 billion offer for British broadcaster Sky is now unconditional, the firm said Tuesday, after having acquired 77 percent of Sky’s shares.

And on the data front, U.K. balance of trade, GDP and production figures for August are due to be released Wednesday morning, as well as August industrial production numbers from France.

Source: CNBC