Intesa Sanpaolo Halted Twice On French Downgrade Rumor, Euro Drops

Update: Unicredit halted

As we predicted yesterday, the Italian market is hating its life right now, with traditional whipping boy Intesa Sanpaolo being halted half an hour ago, resuming trading, dropping 8.2%, and then getting halted again. Same thing with Banco Popolare which was halted down 6.02%, and we expect Unicredit is due for a halt next. The catalyst: a fresh new rumor that France is about to be downgraded, which would send all of Europe into a risk flaring tailspin as it would obviate the EFSF even before it has been launched. The rumor is also rattling the EURUSD, which has dropped about 50 pips from the highs. As a reminder, this is not the first time the French downgrade rumor has emerged, however it is the first time since a rumor about a major AAA-rated country downgrade was proven to be true (ref: last Friday).