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Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced his resignation on Monday, hours after it was confirmed he had suffered a crushing defeat in a referendum on constitutional reform. "My experience of government finishes here," Renzi told a press conference, acknowledging that the No campaign had won an "extraordinarily clear" victory in a vote on which he had staked his future. Interior Ministry projections suggested the No camp, led by the populist Five Star Movement, had carried the vote by a margin of almost 60-40 with a near 70 percent turnout underlining the high stakes and the intensity of the debate.
A long-delayed trading link between the Chinese city of Shenzhen and Hong Kong launched on Monday, opening another door to the mainland's cosseted stock markets but a China slowdown, weak yuan and expected US rate hikes have analysts sounding a note of caution. The tie-up, similar to one that kicked off between Hong Kong and Shanghai two years ago, is being touted as the latest effort by Beijing to prove to global investors that its capital markets are gradually opening. As gongs were struck on both sides of the border to launch the new link, Hong Kong's city leader Leung Chun-ying hailed it as "yet another milestone in deepening mutual access" between the capital markets in Hong Kong and mainland China.