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US equity markets resumed trading after an extended weekend and opened with heavy losses on concerns over Italy’s political turmoil.

Investors move away from perceived riskier assets – like equity in wake of deepening political crisis in Italy, the Eurozone’s third-largest economy. Market participants feared that fresh election might deliver a stronger mandate to Italy’s Euroskeptic parties, which could serve as a referendum on Italian membership of the European Union.

Investors also assessed political uncertainty in Spain, where Prime Minister will face a no-confidence vote in the Parliament on Friday. The outcome could lead to the ouster of his minority and has raised fears of fresh elections in Spain.  

Meanwhile, efforts to revive a historic summit between the US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un did little to revive investors’ risk appetite, albeit might contribute towards limiting further downside, at least for the time being.  

During the opening hour of trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down around 150-points to 24,600 and the broader S&P 500 Index lost nearly 15-points to 2,707. Meanwhile, tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index outperformed the broader markets and was down only 12-points to 7,423.