LONDON (AP) — Political uncertainty in Italy has slammed markets with investors fearful that Europe's debt crisis may be about to rear its head again.
In Italy, the FTSE MIB index has opened around 1.7 percent lower Tuesday after election results showed no clear winner.
Italy is hugely important for the future of the euro currency. Of the 17 European Union countries that use the euro, it has the second-highest debt burden as a proportion of its annual gross domestic product.
Other stock indexes in Europe opened sharply lower too, following big losses in Asia overnight. The Stoxx 50 index of leading European shares was 1.2 percent lower soon after the open.
The euro has also been hit hard, and was close to $1.30 for the first time since early 2013.