Italian financial markets joined the rest of Europe in a weak showing Monday amid concerns about the outcome of the United States' presidential election, fears for Spain's economy and weak Italian economic growth.
In Milan, the FTSE Italia All-Share shed 1.39% to close trading Monday at 16,454.40 points while the FTSE MIB index fell by 1.43% to close at 15,544.44 points.
Meanwhile, the spread between Italy's 10-year benchmark bond and its German counterpart closed at 356 basis points after rising to as high as 360 points during the day.
The yield on 10-year Italian paper closed at 4.99%.
The spread is an indicator of investor confidence in the outlook for the Italian economy and financial markets.
Across Europe, markets declined as investors worried about the outcome of the U.S. presidential election Tuesday between the incumbent President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Meanwhile, the outlook for the Italian economy remains weak. The national statistical agency Istat warned Monday that Italy's gross domestic product (GDP) will drop 2.3% this year compared with 2011 and will be sluggish in 2013 despite "a moderate recovery of economic activity in the second half".
Still, Italy should emerge from the recession it slipped into last year in the second half of 2013, Istat said.
New fears are also rising concerning the outlook for Spain, which continues to postpone a decision on whether to formally request an aid package. In Madrid, the Ibex 35 lost 1.89% to close trading at 7,818.60 points.
On the London Stock Exchange, the FTSE-100 index lost 0.50% to close at 5,839.06 points while in Paris, the CAC 40 lost 1.26% to close at 3,448.50 points and Frankfurt's DAX lost 0.51% to end trading at 7,326.47 points.