Italian vote weighs on markets despite upbeat US jobs data
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LONDON — More solid U.S. jobs data on Friday did little to alter the cautious mood in global stock markets as investors braced for Italy's referendum on
KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, Germany's DAX was down 0.7
US JOBS DATA: U.S. employers added a solid 178,000 jobs in November, nearly matching the average monthly gains this year. The unemployment rate also fell to a nine-year low of 4.9
ANALYST TAKE: "These figures continue to add weight to the argument to raise interest rates at the nearest possible opportunity," said Paul Sirani, chief market analyst at Xtrade.
REFERENDUM RISK: Italians head to the polls Sunday to vote on measures that Premier Matteo Renzi says will make the country more competitive. Renzi has promised to resign if voters choose "no." Market watchers say a rejection of the plan would raise uncertainty about Italy's government and banks. Italy's FTSE MIB index was down 1
INSIGHT: "Investors have been loath to ignore the lessons taken from other elections this year and are steering clear of European stocks and the euro before the Italian referendum," said Jasper Lawler at CMC Markets.
ENERGY: Oil snapped its rally after hitting its highest level since mid-October following a production cut agreement from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Benchmark U.S. crude lost 26 cents to $50.80 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the standard for pricing international oils, shed 44 cents to $53.50 a barrel in London. "Crude seems to be trying to move to a new trading range each side of $55 a barrel," said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA.
ASIAN SCORECARD: Japan's Nikkei 225 index shed 0.5
CURRENCIES: The euro fell 0.3