Italy weighs new chances for gov't based on vote

REUTERS  Dado Ruvic  Illustration  File

It will be headed by a political novice whose first try was rejected four days earlier as too risky for the Italian economy, but the outcome avoids an interim, technical government and a swift return to the polls that investors had feared could end up being a referendum on staying with the euro currency. The euro sank to $1.1577 from $1.1669. Against the Swiss franc, it fell by a similar margin at 1.1528 francs.

Elior Group shares jumped over 6 percent after Credit Suisse upgraded its rating on the stock.

Futures showed USA stocks were set to open higher.

An underlying theme that has pushed the euro lower since mid-April is a slowdown in Europe and the subsequent retreat in expectations for an early rate hike from the European Central Bank.

Juncker said at a conference Thursday that "Italians have to take care of the poor regions of Italy". And they will get their preferred prime minister, the little-known law professor Giuseppe Conte.

Italian two-year bond yields fell 45 basis points to 0.72 percent.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index was almost flat at 22,445.27 while South Korea's Kospi rose 0.8 percent to 2,480.92. The euro on Tuesday weakened significantly against the safe-haven Swiss franc and the Japanese yen.

CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 109.06 yen from 109.42 yen while the euro gained to $1.1628 from $1.162. "This should keep the risk trades pressured to the downside", Nick Twidale, Sydney-based analyst at Rakuten Securities Australia.

Investors were also getting more cautious about the dollar's recent move higher - it hit a 6-1/2 month high against a basket of its rivals earlier this week - on trade war fears and rising concerns the USA economic momentum may soften. Trump tweeted that a US team is in North Korea to make arrangements for the planned June 12 summit in Singapore, days after he said the USA was withdrawing from the meeting.

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. "And I expect that will be a good, healthy discussion", the official said.

Asian equities tumbled on Wednesday while the euro was stuck around 10-month lows as turmoil in Italy sparked a frantic dash for safety, while investors have also been spooked by fresh worries about the China-US trade row. Yields move inversely to price.

The EURUSD pair saw increased activity across Thursday's trading session as the pair was influenced by back to back news from both European and United States markets. Oil producing countries cut output at the start of 2017 following a big supply buildup and agreed previous year to extend those cuts through the end of 2018, but according to reports last week, they might agree to start raising production in June.

A view of the Goldman Sachs stall on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 16, 2013. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, added 32 cents to $75.64 per barrel in London. They were last at $75.53. 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.

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