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Shares traded on the Italian FTSE MIB and Spanish IBEX 35 are down after the European Central Bank hinted at stepping up purchasing sovereign bonds of both countries. So far, Italy is off 1.24 per cent.Yields on government bonds in both those countries have tightened slightly in early trading.
Portugal’s PSI 20, notably, is off around 2 per cent.
Core Europe seems to be holding on to gains, however. The DAX is up 0.45 per cent and the CAC 40 is 0.16 per cent higher this morning.
Today’s big news so far is from the ECB. Its monthly statement indicated that officials there believe inflation will dip under 2 per cent next year, making monetary policy easing a likelihood. More easing appeared to be off the table in the near-term after ECB President Mario Draghi said the bank was worried about inflation after the last ECB decision.
Farther east, Asian markets rallied. The Shanghai composite led the way, rising 1.82 per cent, but all major markets gained. The only sour point there was south Korea, where tensions remain high about an upcoming North Korea missile launch.
U.S. futures are up about 0.50 per cent right now, indicating a higher open.
UPDATE: European shares have moved sharply lower, and an Italian bond auction left much to be desired.
Only the DAX is holding onto gains. Italy and Spain continue to lead the drop. The FTSE MIB is down 1.58 per cent and the IBEX 35 is off 2.17 per cent.