Asian shares fell from near a five- year high, led by Japanese stocks as a technical gauge suggested the nation’s rally may falter. Silver climbed for the first time in four days, while the euro slid toward a six-week low.
March 28, 2013 - Since the middle of 2012, when fears of a euro zone breakup were squelched by European Central Bank Mario Draghi’s pledge to do “whatever it takes” to preserve the euro, U.S. and global stock markets have surged. At the same time, there has been a decline in stock market volatility: the VIX index, the so-called “fear index” measuring anticipated stock market volatility, is far below its historical average. So stocks are up and markets are calm. Will investors be rudely jolted from this serenity by a surge in volatility?
France played a decisive role in shaping not only the euro system but the entire European project. This history has predisposed French leaders to the goal of preserving the euro at all costs. Those costs, as we explained in Part 1 of this article, have become quite insupportable. A new strategy is needed, and France’s role in shaping it will once again be pivotal.
Italian and Spanish bonds fell as investors bet that 10-year yields close to the lowest since at least 2010 may be untenable as a report showed the euro-area economy shrank more in the first quarter than analysts forecast.
Fiat SpA, Renault SA and PSA Peugeot Citroen gained more than 5 percent on signs that governments may take measures to spur growth after the euro-area economy contracted more than forecast in the first quarter.
The euro-area economy shrank more than economists forecast in the three months through March, extending a recession to a record sixth quarter and increasing pressure on the currency bloc’s leaders to spur growth.