Italian economy unnerves European markets

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Concerns about the economic crisis hitting Italy made investors at the Amsterdam stock exchange jittery on Monday. Figures consequently went deep into the red.

Financial shares all over Europe fell sharply. The Amsterdam Exchange index AEX closed down 1.9 percent at 336.16 points. The MidKap index AMX fell 2.7 percent at 583.58 points. London's stock exchange fell just 1 percent, doing relatively well. Frankfurt and Paris both fell 2.7 percent. Milan dropped 4 percent.

Although the Italian economy is doing well and does not have a large budget deficit, the country has serious debts. The price of Italian government bonds came under more pressure on Monday. State loans as well as the Italian stock exchange and bank shares had fallen sharply on Friday. Financial markets all appear to be watching the latest financial hotbed.

"Italy issued a warning today. As one problem is solved another arises. The debt crisis is muddling on," said private banker André Sirks at Theodoor Gilissen.

The euro fell below 1.40 dollars. At the end of the day, the euro was worth 1.4035 dollars, compared to 1.4250 dollars on Friday.

Bank and insurance company ING and insurer Aegon experienced the biggest drop, losing 7.3 and 4.4 percent on the AEX. Bank and insurer SNS Reaal fell 5.6 percent on the MidKap. Insurance company Delta Lloyd dropped 3.8 percent.

Dutch-owned Swedish Automobile lost almost 17 percent. There are doubts whether the ailing Saab carmaker will be able to restart production next month.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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