Asian markets mixed, euro edges up after Italy reports
Investors are keeping an eye on the brewing row between Brussels and Rome over Italy's budget plans. (Photo: AFP/Daniel Roland)
HONG KONG: Asian markets were mixed on Wednesday (Oct 3) but the euro staged a mild recovery on hopes Italy and the European Union can ease a row that has fuelled fears of another crisis in the eurozone.While the China-US trade spat simmers, the source of angst among dealers has moved to Rome after the populist government passed a purse-busting budget last week that drew a rebuke from Brussels and warnings to abide by EU rules on public spending.
That prompted Italy's Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini to threaten to seek damages for scaring off investors as the yield on government bonds surged, making it more expensive for Rome to borrow on international markets.Traders were also spooked by comments from Claudio Borghi, the head of the lower house budget committee, that the euro was "not sufficient" to solve Italy's money problems.But the euro enjoyed a small rally Wednesday afternoon as Italian bonds edged back on reports in the country that Rome was willing to work on cutting some of its projected budget deficits.However, Ray Attrill, head of foreign exchange strategy at the National Australia Bank, said while "Italexit" concerns were overblown, he still thought there were possible problems for Rome.
"The more significant issue is the risk - albeit not immediate - of Italy being downgraded to 'junk' status by at least two of the major ratings agencies."(That) would have profound implications for the ability of investors with minimum credit rating restrictions - including global sovereign bond market index trackers - from holding Italian government debt," he wrote.And Justin Tyler, a director and portfolio manager at Daintree Capital, echoed the fears, warning of "political risks coming out of Italy", adding: "You're going to continue to see volatility in the euro."RUPIAH, RUPEE STRUGGLE
Equity investors were also shifting warily, with Tokyo down 0.7 per cent after hitting a new 27-year high.Hong Kong eased 0.1 per cent after plunging more than two per cent the previous day, Sydney put on 0.3 per cent and Singapore gained 0.8 per cent, while Manila and Bangkok rose. Jakarta shed 0.3 per cent and there were also losses in Wellington, Taipei and Mumbai.Shanghai and Seoul were closed for public holidays.On currency markets the dollar held above 15,000 Indonesian rupiah after breaking the mark Tuesday for the first time since 1998 during the Asian financial crisis.The rupiah has suffered, along with many other emerging market units, as rising US interest rates lead investors to withdraw in search of better returns, while a jump in oil prices has hit Indonesia's current account - leading to concerns about its finances.In a bid to support the local currency the government is considering measures to attract investment and help exporters.And India's rupee is sitting near record lows at 73 to the dollar as soaring oil prices put a strain on the country's current account, leading to vast outflows of cash.Oil is holding at four-year highs but is taking a breather after recent gains, with dealers eyeing a slight increase in US stockpiles.However, with Iranian supplies due to be taken out of the market, the dollar rising and Venezuela continuing to struggle observers are still predicting US$100 a barrel is on the horizon.In early trade London rose 0.2 per cent and Paris added 0.3 per cent.- Key figures around 0810 GMT -Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.7 per cent at 24,110.96 (close)Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.1 per cent at 27,091.26 (close)Shanghai - Composite: Closed for public holidayLondon - FTSE 100: UP 0.2 per cent at 7,489.97Euro/dollar: UP at US$1.1576 from US$1.1548 at 2050 GMTPound/dollar: UP at US$1.3001 from US$1.2979Dollar/yen: UP at ¥113.80 from ¥113.68Oil - West Texas Intermediate: UP 17 cents at US$75.40 per barrelOil - Brent Crude: UP 22 cents at US$85.02 per barrelNew York - Dow Jones: UP 0.5 per cent at 26,773.94 (close)
Source : https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/asian-markets-mixed-euro-edges-up-after-italy-reports-10785736