Global markets are down on Monday after voters in France and Greece decisively dumped their ruling governments in a backlash against austerity measures aimed at containing the Eurozone debt crisis.
In France, socialist candidate François Hollande ousted conservative Nicolas Sarkozy to become president, making France the first Eurozone country to elect a left-leaning leader since the financial crisis began in 2008. In Greece, the situation is less clear-cut as furious voters punished the governing coalition parties that backed strict austerity measures imposed in order to receive their bailout.
The French CAC-40 is down 1.35 per cent, the German DAX is down 1.46 per cent, the Spanish IBEX-35 is off 1.74 per cent and the Italian FTSE MIB is down 1.33 per cent. The Euro Stoxx 50 Index of Eurozone blue chip stocks is retreating 0.42 per cent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 Index is losing 0.09 per cent. The euro currency is presently fetching US$1.2955.
In Asia, the European elections and downbeat economic data from the U.S. last Friday is hurting investor sentiment. Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average is down 2.8 per cent, Australia's S&P ASX 200 is up 0.9 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng is down two per cent, South Korea's Kospi was 1.75 per cent lower, and the Sensex in India is down 1.63 per cent. China's Shanghai Index is down just 0.16 per cent.
On Wall Street, U.S. futures are pointing to a lower open. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 68 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 12868. The S&P 500 futures slipped 7.6 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 1354.90, while Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 14.75 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 2610.75. Of note on the economic data calendar for Monday is a March U.S. consumer credit data.
Here at home, the S&P/TSX Composite Index closed on Friday at 11,871.23, a loss of 143.66 points, or 1.20 per cent. Canada's junior Venture exchange slipped 11.43 points, or 0.81 per cent, to 1,405.10. The Canadian dollar is trading at US$1.0045.