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Markets Slammed By Inconclusive Italian Elections

In Spain, another country struggling with austerity, ministers expressed concern over the Italian election results but were confident they won't upset plans to lift Europe out of the crisis.

Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said the result was "a jump to nowhere with positive consequences for nobody."

The EU's economic and monetary affairs commissioner, Olli Rehn, told reporters in Copenhagen Tuesday that it was important "Italy pursues reform for the sake of sustainable growth and job creation."

The euro was hit hard late Monday on the initial fallout of the election results, nearly dropping below $1.30 for the first time since early 2013. However, it recovered Tuesday before some positive U.S. economic data gave the dollar a fillip. It was trading 0.2 percent lower at $1.3061.

U.S. stocks rebounded a day after the main U.S. indexes had their worst day since last November. Strong earnings, and positive consumer confidence and housing data helped. Also boosting stocks was an indication from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke that the central bank was not going to abandon its super-easy monetary policy just yet. The Dow Jones industrial average rose nearly 116 points, or 0.84 percent, to 13,900 while the broader S&P 500 index rose 9 points, or 0.61 percent, to 1,496.

Earlier in Asia, Japan's Nikkei slid 2.3 percent to 11,398.81 as the yen appreciated to the potential detriment of the country's exporters. The dollar was 0.4 percent lower at $92.23 yen. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 1.3 percent to 22,519.69 while South Korea's Kospi fell 0.5 percent to 2,000.01.

____

Pylas reported from London.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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