Italy votes ‘No’ and the euro falls. The single currency dropped more than 1% against the U.S. dollar after Prime Minister Matteo Renzi‘s program of constitutional reform was rejected by Italian voters by a clear majority in Sunday’s referendum. Renzi said he will hand in his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella on Monday and while there are fears the vote could further shake up Europe’s financial stability, investors are selling the euro and Italy’s bonds as they see Italy as the biggest risk to the future of the eurozone. Markets now assess the risk of early elections and if they happen, the eurosceptic Five-Star Movement could campaign on a promise to hold a referendum on Italy’s membership in the euro.
While a ‘No’ vote was already priced into Italy’s government bonds the most immediate concern is a potential banking crisis and the risk of contagion around Europe. So all in all, short-term prospects for the euro appear to be somewhat gloomy so let’s take a brief look at the technical picture.
In an initial reaction to Renzi’s defeat, the euro dropped towards 1.05 but it was able to stabilize around 1.0560. If it falls again below 1.0530 we see a higher likelihood of further losses towards the descending trend line which is currently at 1.0470/60. Below 1.0460 however, the dollar rally could accelerate with the euro heading towards parity. For the euro to gain some ground it might need to stabilize above 1.0585 and then head back towards the 1.0660-resistance.
Austria‘s presidential vote was however received with relief after Alexander Van der Bellen defeated Norbert Hofer, sending “a signal of hope and positive change throughout Europe”. The Austrian vote was seen as a victory over the populist sentiment in Europe.
The focus now shifts to the European Central Bank meeting on Thursday and while a period of political uncertainty might follow after Renzi’s defeat, the ECB could announce even more aggressive measures to support the European economy.
From the U.S. we do not have any market-moving economic reports scheduled for release this week. The ISM Non-Manufacturing index is due for release today at 15:00 UTC but given the fact that NFP numbers have been released before the report, it should be of less importance.
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