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European markets undeterred amid Greek election results.

January 26, 2015

European financial markets have shown themselves undeterred by the Greek election result, despite concerns over the eurozone's stability. The anti-austerity Syriza party took more than 36 percent of the vote.

Frankfurt stock exchange
Image: REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski

Weakness in European stocks lasted only for about two hours. Falling as low as 1,473.38 earlier, the blue-chip FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares bounced back 0.13 percent to 1,481.46 - a level close to a seven-year high.

Leading this rise were stocks in Frankfurt, with Germany's Dax hitting a record high of 10,718.50 in Monday trading, as a closely-watched business index reported an increase in German business confidence for the third consecutive month.

The euro was up 0.2 percent at $1.1230 after dropping to a new 11-year low in Asian trade.

But Greek markets did not echo Europe's trajectory, amid investor concerns about Syriza's plans to renegotiate the terms of the country's 240-billion-euro bailout with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

The main Athens index fell 2 percent, while ten-year yields rose 41 basis points to 9.18 percent, with shares in banks such as Alpha Bank and Piraeus Bank down even more.

Wall Street worries

Meanwhile, US stocks fell slightly as trading began on Wall Street on Monday morning. The Dow index fell by 0.5 percentage points, S&P by 0.4 pct, and the Nasdaq by 0.4 pct.

Syriza's promises to end unpopular austerity policies could lead to a stand-off between Athens and other European leaders, in which Greece would be forced to leave the eurozone.

But market analysts expect Syriza party leader Alexis Tsipras to reach a compromise with Greece's international creditors regarding his plans, thus avoiding a so-called "Grexit."

"Despite the tone set by the election campaign, Greece is likely to end up reaching agreement with the international community, partly because it already does not have enough money for planned social programs," said Commerzbank chief economist Jörg Krämer.

Tsipras had promised to end what he called the "humiliation and pain" that Greece has suffered since the 2010 bailout, when the country endured harsh spending cuts.

el/bk (dpa, Reuters)