Italian deadlock pushes FTSE lower

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The FTSE 100 fell more than 1 per cent today after the inconclusive outcome of elections in Italy raised fears of a resurgent eurozone debt crisis.

Stocks in Asia and the US fell after Italy’s centre-left coalition won a majority in the lower house of parliament, but the upper house will be deadlocked, the country’s interior ministry said after almost all votes were counted.

Ishaq Siddiqi, market strategist at ETX Capital, said: “Italians have clearly voted against austerity judging by this outcome, with a lack of confidence in former prime minister Mario Monti and divided between the centre-left and centre-right.

“The uncertainty over this outcome kicked stocks on Wall Street lower overnight with Asian markets following suit.”

The FTSE 100 was down more than 83 points, or 1.3 per cent, at 6,271 by lunchtime. Banks were among the biggest fallers, with Barclays down 4.6 per cent and Royal Bank of Scotland 3.5 per cent lower.