Here We Go

02.25.13

Italian Election News

Italian former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi poses before casting his ballot at a polling station on February 24, 2013 in Milan. (OLIVIER MORIN,OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images) ()

Thus far the one thing we know for sure: a calamitous plunge in voter turnout, down 7.3 points from 2008 levels.

Otherwise, laments the Financial Times:

[W]hen the last vote is counted on Monday night under Italy’s complex electoral system, markets could wake up the next day still not knowing the composition of the next government if, as some polls indicate, a highly fragmented parliament is the result. “A stable government would be a sort of miracle,” commented a despondent Guido Rosa, president of the association of foreign banks in Italy, as the country headed to the polls on Sunday.

Italian bond prices rose in thin early trading on Monday but analysts expect a surge in volatility once exit polls emerge after voting ends at 3pm (2pm GMT). Italian 10-year bond yields were 6 basis points lower at 4.39 per cent while the safe-haven German Bund future was 18 ticks lower at 143.54, easing away from a one-month high hit on Friday.