European stocks plunge as Italian election shows no clear winner

<p>Europe’s stock indices have plunged as Italy faces a hung parliament.</p>

The uncertainty surrounding Italy's leadership elections has sent all the major European stock indices lower this morning (February 26th).

With 99.9 per cent of ballots accounted for, in the lower chamber of parliament the Democratic Party leader Pier Luigi Bersani and his centre-left coalition have come away with a very small victory, winning by 29.5 per cent compared to former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right party's 29.1 per cent.

But in the 305-seat Senate, preliminary results for the interior ministry show that the coalition led by Mr Berlusconi could win 110 seats to the left's 97 seats – again leading to no majority.

This leaves Italy with its first hung parliament since World War II.

Mr Bersani commented: "It is clear to everyone that this is a very delicate situation for the country."

At 08:45 GMT, the German Dax lost 1.8 per cent to an index value of 7632.6 points, while the French Cac 40 and Madrid Ibex both retreated by more than two per cent to 3636 points and 8013.9 points respectively.

Find out about the key European benchmarks and spread betting strategies at City Index.

Build your confidence risk free
Join our live webinars for the latest analysis and trading ideas. Register now

StoneX Financial Ltd (trading as “City Index”) is an execution-only service provider. This material, whether or not it states any opinions, is for general information purposes only and it does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. This material has been prepared using the thoughts and opinions of the author and these may change. However, City Index does not plan to provide further updates to any material once published and it is not under any obligation to keep this material up to date. This material is short term in nature and may only relate to facts and circumstances existing at a specific time or day. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment, legal, tax or other advice and no reliance should be placed on it.

No opinion given in this material constitutes a recommendation by City Index or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. The material has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research. Although City Index is not specifically prevented from dealing before providing this material, City Index does not seek to take advantage of the material prior to its dissemination. This material is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.

For further details see our full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.