Italy’s Finance Minister Giovanni Tria’s assurance his country is not considering to leave the euro was welcomed by the markets. As a result, stocks headed for the biggest gains since February.
In an interview with Corriere della Sera newspaper, Tria said there was “no discussion” of any proposal to leave the common currency and that the government would also block any market conditions that would “push toward an exit”.
As reported by Bloomberg, investor concerns in Italy have focused on the country’s future in the euro area after the Five Star Movement and the League – both Eurosceptic parties – formed a coalition, blowing out the premium demanded by investors to hold its bonds.
The two new parties have also pledged to boost spending and introduce a flat tax for families and corporations, which is expected to cost over €100bn in its first year.
According to Bloomberg, the euro climbed 0.2% to $1.1788. Italian shares jumped, with the FTSE MIB Index rising 2.1%, led by Intesa Sanpaolo and Banco BPM. The benchmark had dropped 2.3% since the start of year through June 8.
Financial bonds were led by insurer Assicurazioni Generali, which holds more than €60bn of Italian government debt, with the price tightening by 10 basis points, reported Bloomberg.
However, not all were convinced that Tria’s comments warranted such a large push higher. For instance, Santander GCB rates strategist Luca Jellinek posited that much of the move may have been due to short positions being squeezed out.
“There were a lot of shorts in Italy,” he told Bloomberg in emailed comments. This rally is “way too much”.