Daily Data Flow: Italy’s Election Pushes Stocks Down; Gold Futures Have Best Day this Month; Insurers Unsure on Yen Decline

Italy Election Causes Market Trepidation (Bloomberg)
As partial election results from Italy became available today, early gains in U.S. stocks were erased, leading to a day of decline for the American market. Investors expressed concerns over how stable the new Italian government may be. “We don’t want to see more chaos out of Europe,” Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at the private-banking unit of KeyCorp in Cleveland, said. “Any question about whether or not Italy would be committed to austerity measures after the elections gets investors concerned.”

Gold Futures Have Month’s Biggest Gain (MarketWatch)
After last week’s selloff, today gold futures had their best day so far in February. Contributing was a report hinting at a possible bottom in the precious metal’s pricing. “The current rally is reflective of some very significant moves in the ‘paper’ gold markets,” said Brien Lundin, editor of Gold Newsletter.

Wary Insurers Slow Yen Decline (Reuters)
Big insurers, with a combined $2 trillion in assets, are unsure that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be able to push through his agressive monetary policies, even as the yen has already reached a three-year low. “Markets are still not fully convinced that Abe can push through the most essential of his policy mix, the growth strategy, which requires a painful overhaul of current frameworks that inhibit growth, but for which no roadmap is provided,” said Yuuki Sakurai, CEO at Fukoku Capital Management.

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