July 27, 2018 / 2:03 PM / 9 months ago

Italy stocks, bonds slip on 5-Star founder comments on euro

MILAN, July 27 (Reuters) - Italian shares erased gains and two-year bond yields spiked on Friday with traders citing comments from the founder of Italy’s ruling party 5-Star Movement in support of a referendum over Italy’s membership of the euro.

Beppe Grillo, who has no role in Italy’s coalition government, made the comments in an interview earlier this week with GZERO, a subsidiary of risk analysis firm Eurasia Group. The comments were republished on Friday on Grillo’s website and other media.

Italy’s two-year government bonds, which are most vulnerable to concerns over the country’s membership of the euro, saw their yield — which move inversely to price — briefly hit a two-week high of 0.78 percent before receding to 0.74 percent; still up 2.5 bps on the day..

Italy’s FTSE MIB index erased gains and was last trading little changed, underperforming slight gains on the broader European markets.

Asked by GZERO whether he still supported a referendum on the euro for Italy, Grillo said: “I am always in favour of referendums, of the referendum as an instrument, I am always in favour on any subject. The most democratic method I know is having an online referendum from my iPhone on all subjects.” (Reporting by Danilo Masoni, Editing by Abhinav Ramnarayan)

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