European markets closed higher Monday, despite opening the session lower, as investors digested news that anti-austerity party Syriza won a general election in Greece on Sunday. The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 index (^STOXX) ended around 0.5 percent higher after fluctuating earlier in the session. Greek stocks on the Athens Composite traded down 5 percent earlier in the day, but ended around 3 percent lower. Greece’s Bank of Piraeus (Athens Stock Exchange: TPEIR-GR) closed 17 percent percent down, Alpha Bank (Athens Stock Exchange: ALPHA-GR) fell 11 percent and the National Bank of Greece (Athens Stock Exchange: ETE-GR) dropped sharply by around 13 percent, amid concern about the impact of Syriza’s win . London’s FTSE (FTSE International: .FTSE) ended 0.3 percent higher, the French CAC (Euronext Paris: .FCHI) provisionally closed 0.8 percent higher, while German stocks (^GDAXI) rallied to finish 1.4 percent higher. Syriza’s leader, Alexis Tsipras, is opposed to the austerity measures that were part of Greece’s financial bailout agreed with international lenders and has said he will try to renegotiate Greece’s debt agreements.
The euro (Exchange:USDEUR) fell to an 11-year low in early morning trading, but erased some losses by mid-morning after it was clear that the Syriza party hadn’t won an outright majority. Meanwhile, the basic resources (STOXX:.SXPP) sector was the major underperformer, with metal prices showing some weakness at the start of the trading week. Energy stocks (STOXX:.SXEP) also saw some selling, down 0.3 percent, with the price of Brent and WTI both falling in the morning session.
U.S. stocks fell on Monday, with telecommunications leading the drop, as investors considered the results from Greek elections and the winter weather on the East Coast. In other news, the European Union will summon foreign ministers of its 28 member states for an emergency meeting to discuss renewed fighting in Ukraine on Thursday, Reuters reported. Russian stocks lost 1.7 percent on Monday amid an increased threat of more sanctions by the U.S. and Europe. This week, markets will be watching for U.K. and U.S. GDP numbers for the fourth quarter. On Monday, the Munich-based IFO Institute’s latest business climate index showed a rise in January . The index came in at 106.7 which was better than market expectations and better than December’s figure of 105.5. Follow us on Twitter: @CNBCWorld
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