Stock markets rebounded slightly on Wednesday morning following a sell-off the day before after the disappointing outcome to the national elections in Italy.
Equities across Europe were sold off yesterday in the wake of the Italian elections which revealed growing support for anti-austerity parties. Pier Luigi Bersani's centre-left party won the lower house by a narrow margin but failed to gain enough votes to secure the senate.
However, stocks gained on Wall Street last night after the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, defended the bank's asset purchase programme, saying that it was necessary until the job market improves substantially.
"In Europe, traders are also taking heart in Bernanke's accommodative remarks but moves to the upside are likely to be limited given the unease at the outcome of the inconclusive Italian elections," said market strategist Ishaq Siddiqi from ETX Capital.
"Traders are now pricing in the risk of an ungovernable Italy for the coming months, unconvinced that any outcome following this election would be truly market-friendly."
Italian 10-year bond yields pulled back this morning after rocketing to levels not seen since December 2011 yesterday on the back of the political deadlock.
All eyes are now turning to this morning's bond auction, at which the Italian Treasury will attempt to sell as much as €6.5bn of medium- and long-term debt.
Market analyst Michael Hewson from CMC Markets said: "At the last auction, [10-year bond] yields were at 4.17% with a bid-to-cover [ratio] of 1.3. It is a safe bet that yields will be higher today."
FTSE 100: Weir, ITV gain after results
Engineering solutions group Weir was a high riser after managing to register record profits and margins last year and saying that it expects another year of profitable growth in 2013.
Broadcaster ITV also impressed after rewarding shareholders with a special dividend worth £156m after posting 2012 results which showed a rise in profits and revenues.
Heading the other way was oilfield services group Petrofac after underwhelming with a 9.0% rise in revenue and 17% increase in net profit in 2012.
Energy company Centrica was subdued despite saying 2012 earnings rose 5.0% as cold weather during the year pushed up gas consumption.
FTSE 250: bwin.party soars after broker upgrade
Online gaining group bwin.party jumped after Citigroup upgraded its rating for the stock to 'neutral'.
Bodycote, the world's largest thermal processing services provider, surged after operating profits rose 14.4% in 2012, boosted by growth in its global Aerospace and Energy business.
Restaurant and pub operator Restaurant Group also rose after reporting a sharp increase in full-year earnings, lifting its dividend payment and saying its new financial year had started well.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Weir Group (WEIR) 2,225.00p +2.82%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 165.10p +1.98%
ITV (ITV) 122.10p +1.58%
Prudential (PRU) 957.00p +1.54%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,771.00p +1.23%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 721.80p +1.23%
Barclays (BARC) 300.20p +1.08%
CRH (CRH) 1,450.00p +1.05%
Carnival (CCL) 2,422.00p +0.96%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 944.00p +0.85%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,542.00p -3.44%
Intu Properties (INTU) 335.40p -2.19%
Diageo (DGE) 1,936.00p -1.27%
Serco Group (SRP) 568.50p -1.04%
Croda International (CRDA) 2,564.00p -0.77%
Schroders (SDR) 1,968.00p -0.61%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,095.00p -0.55%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,348.00p -0.52%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 3,406.00p -0.47%
Evraz (EVR) 264.80p -0.38%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 154.00p +11.76%
Bodycote (BOY) 535.50p +5.93%
Restaurant Group (RTN) 410.30p +5.48%
CSR (CSR) 444.90p +2.49%
Stobart Group Ltd. (STOB) 94.00p +2.23%
Playtech Ltd. (PTEC) 572.50p +2.05%
COLT Group SA (COLT) 125.00p +2.04%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 525.50p +2.04%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 124.50p +1.88%
Chemring Group (CHG) 285.40p +1.82%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Beazley (BEZ) 200.60p -6.61%
Henderson Group (HGG) 152.60p -4.51%
easyJet (EZJ) 976.00p -2.16%
HICL Infrastructure Company Ltd (HICL) 123.00p -1.99%
IP Group (IPO) 127.80p -1.69%
Homeserve (HSV) 238.00p -1.53%
Wetherspoon (J.D.) (JDW) 517.00p -1.15%
Witan Inv Trust (WTAN) 578.50p -1.11%
Atkins (WS) (ATK) 864.50p -0.97%
Barr (A.G.) (BAG) 515.00p -0.96%