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  • Yesterday, 5:01 AM
    • Italy will hold a constitutional referendum on Sunday that has become a de facto vote on whether the Prime Minister Matteo Renzi should keep his job.
    • What's it about? The reforms would remove power from the Senate to enable laws to be passed quickly and efficiently.
    • The latest polls showing the overhauls are likely to be rejected has investors worried about a "financial meltdown" as Italy's shaky banking sector would have a tough time raising much-needed capital.
    • ETFs: EWI, HEWI, DBIT
    • Related bank tickers: OTCPK:UNCFF, OTCPK:IITSF, OTCPK:IITOF, OTC:MDIBF, OTCPK:ISNPY, OTCPK:BPESY, OTC:UNCFY, OTCPK:MDIBY, OTCPK:BPESF
    | Yesterday, 5:01 AM | 29 Comments
  • Thu, Dec. 1, 2:44 AM
    • Appealing to the unions? Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has hiked public sector pay for the first time in seven years just days ahead of the Italian constitutional referendum on which he has staked his political future.
    • Public sector pay has been frozen since 2009, while Italy struggled to rein in its burgeoning public debt, the highest in the eurozone after Greece.
    • ETFs: EWI, HEWI, DBIT
    | Thu, Dec. 1, 2:44 AM | 2 Comments
  • Wed, Nov. 30, 2:57 PM
    • Italian shares have been under considerable pressure of late on concern about this weekend's referendum, but the FTSE MIB is far outperforming other indices today with a 2.25% advance.
    • Many are expecting a "no" vote, which could lead to the resignation of the prime minister, and even more pressure on the country's teetering banks.
    • The sharp reversal in Italian shares today (and yesterday) suggests perhaps a few are placing bets on a surprise outcome. MarketWatch notes EWI is ahead 1.8% today on sharply higher volume, and the $432M fund has seen $38M of inflows over the last week compared to nearly $400M exiting YTD.
    • Also on the move is the iShares Currency Hedged MSCI Italy ETF (HEWI +2.3%).
    | Wed, Nov. 30, 2:57 PM | 3 Comments
  • Tue, Nov. 29, 7:44 AM
    • To review, Italy (NYSEARCA:EWI) is set for a weekend referendum on constitutional reforms, and - like the Brexit vote, and U.S. election - the establishment forces might be headed for a loss. That would likely force out Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, and put the country's shaky banks on even shakier ground.
    • Sources at the ECB tell Reuters the central bank stands ready to temporarily boost its purchases of Italian government bonds, if necessary.
    | Tue, Nov. 29, 7:44 AM | 2 Comments
  • Mon, Nov. 28, 7:16 AM
    | Mon, Nov. 28, 7:16 AM | 8 Comments
  • Mon, Nov. 14, 4:38 AM
    • Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi may not stay on if his referendum on constitutional reform - that would reduce the role of the upper house Senate and cut the powers of regional governments - fails on Dec. 4.
    • "If I have to stay on in parliament and do what everyone else has done before me, that is, to scrape by and just float there, that does not suit me," he said in a radio interview.
    • Earlier this year the premier repeatedly said he would resign in the case of a defeat, but more recently, he has declined to confirm that outright.
    • ETFs: EWI, HEWI, DBIT
    | Mon, Nov. 14, 4:38 AM
  • Fri, Nov. 4, 2:31 PM
    • The Stoxx 50 (NYSEARCA:FEZshed 0.6% today, bringing its weekly loss to just under 4%. Nervousness ahead of next week's U.S. election makes for as good of an excuse as any, but there was also this week's U.K. court ruling which threatens to delay Brexit.
    • One might think a delay (possibly ultimately leading to a postponement) would be good for Europe, but an argument could also be made it just adds to the uncertainty.
    • Among individual bourses, Germany (NYSEARCA:EWGfell 4%, Spain (NYSEARCA:EWP) fell 4.5%, Italy (NYSEARCA:EWIfell nearly 6%.
    • ETFs: VGK, HEDJ, FEZ, IEV, EPV, EZU, FEU, EURL, DBEU, EEA, FEP, HEZU, UPV, IEUR, FEEU, ADRU
    | Fri, Nov. 4, 2:31 PM | 6 Comments
  • Sun, Oct. 30, 9:56 AM
    • A powerful earthquake struck Italy early Sunday in the same central regions that have been rocked by repeated tremors over the past two months, with more buildings brought down but no deaths immediately reported.
    • The quake, which measured 6.6 according to the U.S. Geological Survey, was bigger than one on Aug. 24 that killed almost 300 people.
    • Many people have fled the region since then, helping to avoid a new devastating death toll.
    • ETFs: EWI, HEWI, DBIT
    | Sun, Oct. 30, 9:56 AM | 6 Comments
  • Fri, Oct. 28, 5:12 AM
    • Italy has defended its rule-breaking 2017 budget to the European Commission, saying the migrant crisis, post-earthquake reconstruction and lower-than-expected growth were to blame, after tensions surfaced over its fiscal violations.
    • Brussels could reject the budget plan, but no decision is expected before a Dec. 4 referendum over PM Matteo Renzi's flagship constitutional reform.
    • ETFs: EWI, HEWI, DBIT
    | Fri, Oct. 28, 5:12 AM | 2 Comments
  • Sun, Oct. 16, 6:58 AM
    • Italy's government has approved a 2017 budget plan that aims to avert tax increases as Prime Minister Matteo Renzi faces increasing pressure ahead of a national referendum over constitutional changes.
    • The budget would also lead Italy to run a budget deficit of 2.3% of GDP next year, which could bring the country into conflict with EU rules aimed at reining in member states' deficits.
    • ETFs: EWI, HEWI, DBIT
    | Sun, Oct. 16, 6:58 AM
  • Mon, Oct. 10, 12:17 PM
    • Europe stocks finished the day in positive territory.
    • The French CAC was up 1.06% and the German DAX finished with a 1.27% gain. The FTSE 100 was up 0.75% to finish at its highest level in more than a year. Miners and oil stocks were strong on the day.
    • ETFs: EWG, EWI, EWU, DAX, GF, EWQ, DXGE, DBGR, HEWG, EWGS, FGM, FKU, DXPS, QDEU, DBUK, QGBR, HEWI, HEWU, DBIT.
    | Mon, Oct. 10, 12:17 PM
  • Tue, Sep. 27, 5:38 AM
    • The Italian government has set a referendum on constitutional reforms for December 4.
    • The plan aims to streamline parliament and the electoral system in the hope of bringing the country badly-needed political stability.
    • According to the latest Eumetra poll, the "No" camp is leading with 55% of votes against a 45% share for "Yes".
    • Italian PM Matteo Renzi said he will resign if the reforms are rejected.
    • ETFs: EWI, HEWI, DBIT
    | Tue, Sep. 27, 5:38 AM | 2 Comments
  • Wed, Aug. 24, 2:28 AM
    • An earthquake measuring 6.2 on the richter scale and strong aftershocks have struck central Italy, bringing down buildings and killing what are believed to be at least 10 people.
    • The disaster has wrought major damage to several towns and villages, but while residents in Rome felt the quake, major population areas seem to have been spared from serious harm.
    • The euro is -0.1%, while Milan stock futures don't appear to be traded at the moment.
    • ETFs: EWI, HEWI, DBIT
    | Wed, Aug. 24, 2:28 AM | 5 Comments
  • Sun, Aug. 21, 8:01 AM
    • The leaders of Germany, France and Italy will meet on an island off the coast of Naples tomorrow to discuss how to keep the European project together in the second set of talks between the eurozone's three largest economies since Britain's vote to leave the EU.
    • According to a French diplomatic source, Merkel wants to cement "a better Europe" rather than forge ahead with "more Europe," Renzi wants Italy to have a strong voice in how the bloc's future is shaped post-Brexit and Hollande wants an EU-wide investment plan to be doubled.
    • ETFs: EWG, EWI, EWU, DAX, GF, EWQ, DXGE, DBGR, HEWG, EWGS, FGM, FKU, DXPS, QDEU, DBUK, QGBR, HEWI, HEWU, DBIT
    | Sun, Aug. 21, 8:01 AM | 36 Comments
  • Fri, Aug. 19, 10:58 AM
    • European stock markets have been in quiet retreat all week, and today's 1% decline in the Stoxx 50 (NYSEARCA:FEZ) puts that index lower by 2.7% for the week.
    • Leading to the downside today is Italy's (NYSEARCA:EWI2.3% loss, followed by Spain (NYSEARCA:EWP), down 1.4%.
    • The biggest news of note is a report suggesting the Brexit could come a lot sooner than previously thought. It's sent the pound nicely lower vs. the euro, and could be accounting for the softness in European shares (the FTSE is down just 0.2%).
    • Germany (NYSEARCA:EWG) is down 0.6%, and France (NYSEARCA:EWQ1%.
    • ETFs: VGK, HEDJ, FEZ, IEV, EPV, EZU, FEU, EURL, DBEU, EEA, FEP, HEZU, UPV, IEUR, FEEU, ADRU, FIEU, DBEZ, FEUZ, SBEU, HFEZ, HFXE, DEZU, PTEU, RFEU, HGEU, FIEE, GSEU
    | Fri, Aug. 19, 10:58 AM | 4 Comments
  • Tue, Aug. 2, 12:41 PM
    • Germany's Commerzbank (OTCPK:CRZBYtumbled nearly 9% after warning it won't hit its profit target this year, while Italy's banks fell broadly on continued investor worries about their health.
    • Meanwhile, European exchange operator Stoxx is invoking its "fast exit" rule to kick Deutsche Bank (DB -3.6%) and Credit Suisse (CS -4.6%) out of its Stoxx 50 (FEZ -1.1%) index on August 8. Typically index changes are made just once a year, but the performance of the two has been so horrid of late (both down about 50% in 2016) that Stoxx doesn't want to wait.
    • Bloodied longs can take comfort in the fact that these sorts of things tend to happen a lot closer to the bottom than the top.
    • Italy (NYSEARCA:EWI) closed with losses of 2.8%, as did Spain (NYSEARCA:EWP). Germany (NYSEARCA:EWGlost 1.8%, as did France (NYSEARCA:EWQ).
    • The Nasdaq's 1.1% decline is leading the U.S. lower, with the S&P 500 down 0.8%, and the Dow off 0.6%.
    | Tue, Aug. 2, 12:41 PM | 12 Comments
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