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Why Italian Banks Led Gains in European Markets

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Italian FTSE MIB leads the European markets

Critical European markets (DBEU) were all trading on a positive note on August 23, 2016. The rise was led by the Italian FTSE MIB—it posted a strong gain of 1.8% as of 6:30 AM EST. The SPDR Euro Stoxx 50 ETF (FEZ) and French CAC 40 also posted gains, but they were less compounded compared to the Italian index. They rose by 1.1% and 0.69%, respectively.

Among the other major European indexes (IEV), the German DAX rose by 0.83%, while the Belgium BEL200 index rose 0.70%. In non-Eurozone markets, the positive trend was evident. The United Kingdom’s (EWU) FTSE 100 was trading higher by 0.47% and Sweden’s (EWD) OMX Stockholm 30 rose by 0.93% as of 6:30 AM EST.

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What caused the rise in European indexes?

The Italian banks (EWI) were among the major gainers for the day. This rise in the banking shares was partly due to news of a possible acquisition of Bank Pekao by the Polish insurance company PZU. Currently, the Bank Pekao is held by Italian Bank Unicredit. The Italian banks including Unicredit are widely on the lookout for fresh inflows to meet capital shortfalls. The European indexes were also aided by the strong PMI (purchasing managers’ index) release on August 23. The services PMI beat market forecasts.

Asian markets remain mixed

Major Asian markets (AAXJ) were trading on a mixed note on August 22, 2016. The Chinese (FXI) index DJ Shanghai was among the major losers. It fell by 0.84%. The Japanese (DXJ) index Nikkei 225 was among the major gainers for the day—it rose by 0.32%.

Oceania markets (VPL) were also trading mixed on August 22. The Australian S&P/ASX 200 fell by 0.21%, while the Dow Jones New Zealand Index rose 0.78%. The Asian markets are expected to trade range bound until Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s speech at Jackson Hole. She will give more insight about the direction of the global market.

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