Italian shares, Monte Paschi rebound after early losses
Euro down but rebounds from 20-month low near $1.05
Italian shares rose on Monday as investors bet against an immediate snap election in Italy following Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's resignation after defeat in a constitutional reform referendum.
Markets had been jolted by the scale of Renzi's defeat which pointed to further turbulence and political crisis in the euro zone's heavily indebted third-largest economy and particular uncertainty was focused on the country's fragile banks.
The euro fell as low as $1.0508 and the Milan bourse shed as much as 2 percent at the opening, while Italian bond yields spiked sharply higher.
But most of these moves quickly reversed. The euro roared back above $1.06, still down on the day, Italian stocks moved higher, and Germany's DAX and Europe's FTSEuroFirst index of leading 300 shares both rose 1.5 percent.
"Our base scenario is a caretaker government which could be in place before Christmas, and no new elections before 2018," Indosuez Wealth Management chief economist Marie Owens Thomsen said.
"If indeed things pan out according to our base scenario, there would be little reason for any broad-based turmoil. It is still utterly unlikely that Italy would leave the EU or the euro," she said.
The referendum outcome was anticipated but the margin of Renzi's defeat - 59 percent to 41 percent - caused the initial alarm. Analysts say it could still deal a body blow to a bloc already reeling under anti-establishment anger that led to Britain's shock exit in June.
Italian financials rose 0.5 percent having fallen more than 4 percent, and shares in the world's oldest bank, Monte dei Paschi, were flat on the day after being suspended at the opening.
Bonds remained under pressure though. Italy's benchmark 10-year bond yield jumped 11 basis points (bps) to 2.01 percent, widening the premium investors demand for holding Italian bonds over safer German bonds to 175 bps, before easing slightly.
The strong link between Italy's banking sector and bond market is a major concern for investors. Banks have been hit by concerns over their huge exposure to bad loans built up during years of economic downturn. They also hold large amounts of Italian government debt.
"Bond market turbulence could have serious implications for the financial system. Foreign investors may be less willing to underwrite capital raisings of Italian lenders," JP Morgan Asset Management global market strategist Maria Paola Toschi said.
Markets had earlier taken some encouragement when Austria's far-right presidential candidate was soundly defeated by a pro-European contender, confounding forecasts of a tight election.
The European Central Bank meets Thursday amid much speculation it will announce a six-month extension of its asset buying program and widen the type of bonds it can purchase.
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