Italian turmoil hits global markets, stocks plunge

Bank of Italy governor warns that investors would flee the system if they see their wealth eroded because of an economic crisis


Richard Drew / Associated Press

Trader Patrick Casey, center, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, May 29, 2018. U.S. stocks are opening lower, following sharp drops in Europe triggered by political uncertainty in Italy.

MARLEY JAY, Associated Press

NEW YORK — The dollar rose to 108.24 yen from 109.37 yen. The euro sank to $1.1531, its lowest since July, from $1.1669.

The S&P 500 index sank 31.47 points, or 1.2 percent, to 2,689.86. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 391.64 points, or 1.6 percent, to 24,361.45. It was down as much as 505 earlier. In Europe, Italy’s benchmark stock index plunged 2.7 percent.

Smaller U.S. companies, which tend to be more domestically focused than the large multinationals in the Dow, fared much better than the rest of the market. The Russell 2000 index fell far less than the Dow average, giving up 3.28 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,623.65.

The Nasdaq composite fell 37.26 points, or 0.5 percent, to 7,396.59.

Wholesale gasoline gave up 1.7 percent to $2.14 a gallon. Heating oil shed 1.1 percent to $2.19 a gallon. Natural gas dropped 2.2 percent to $2.88 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold fell 0.4 percent to $1,299 an ounce. Silver lost 1 percent to $16.37 an ounce. Copper gave up 0.5 percent to $3.06 a pound.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.6 percent while the South Korean Kospi lost 0.9 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index plunged 1 percent.

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