Losses on the Italian stock market spilled over to the rest of Europe on Wednesday. This followed remarks by the Italian deputy prime minister that his country was set to break fiscal rules set by the EU.
The STOXX 600 index dropped by 0.1% in early trading, dragged down by a 0.7% decrease in the Italian Index, which is heavily laden with banks.
The European bank sector as a whole lost 0.3%, partly because of the Italian situation and partly because of a number of disappointing earnings reports from e.g. Raiffeisen Bank International (VIE: RBI) and Dutch bank ABN Amro (AMS: ABN).