European Stocks Little Changed as Italy Elections Conclude

The European stocks were more or less unchanged today as the investors tried to scrutinize the post-election polls of Italy. The benchmark gauge Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined by less than 0.1% and is currently at 288.40. The gauge, recorded sharp rally of 0.7% at initial hours of trading, however, saw decline later as the projections of Italy elections turned out to be conflicting. Pier Luigi Bersani is still the favorite to form the Government, but according to many post-poll surveys, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been able to narrow the gap to quite some bit after pledging to roll back austerity measurements taken.

According to the Vice President of Mirabaud Securities LLP, John Plassard, more the result will start coming in, the uncertainly over the Italian Government will loom further. The investors are concerned on probable improvement of Italy if Berlusconi wins the elections as he is expected to delay or stop the current reforms, if elected. A renewed political instability will certainly not help the case of Euro – as mentioned by Plassard.

Incidentally, according to an IPR projection, Berlusconi will win the race to Senate by having majority in regions such as Campania, Lombardy and Sicily. However, the poll of SkyTG24 Tecne says that Bersani will comfortably be victorious in regions Sicily and Campania, whereas, Lombardy may turn out to be a tough battle to win.

The national benchmark indexes in 14 of the 18 western European markets increased. The Stoxx 600 gauge is still on its course to record straight 9 month of gains which is its longest winning streak since 1997. In February, the gauge has advanced by 0.4%. The DAX of Germany, FTSE MIB of Italy and CAC 40 of France – all posted gains, of 1.5%, 0.7% and 0.3% respectively. The benchmark gauge of UK, FTSE 100 index also advanced by 0.3%, despite Moody’s Investors Service stripped of its AAA credit rating.

Among individual companies, Deutsche Bourse posted gains of 5.6% and marks its biggest gain since 29th June. On the other hand, Reckitt Benckiser declined by 135 pence, its biggest since last May.

Pearson, also dropped by 3.7% as it announced of tough market conditions prevailing throughout 2013. The forecasted operating profit of 2013 is expected to be along the lines of its 2012 value. Pearson’s drop was the biggest since 27th July.