The French market declined on Monday, after election results from the country and Greece showed a rejection of austerity, thus raising doubts about a resolution to the debt crisis in the region. Disappointing U.S. jobs data and Europe polls weighed on Asian markets.
Francois Hollande, who got 52 percent votes, was crowned the new President of France, unseating Nicholas Sarkozy who could get only 48 percent of votes. Hollande had alleged during the campaign that Sarkozy ruined the economy, while Sarkozy criticized the spending plans of Hollande.
Also in Greece, results of the parliamentary elections showed that the two main parties - the conservative New Democracy and the left-wing Pasok - suffered huge defeats, while those opposed to more cuts won almost 60 percent support.
Concerns remained about the possibility of a new left-wing coalition government in Greece, which vowed to end austerity measures and reject the terms of Greece-Troika bailout deal.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is retreating 0.34 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is losing 0.10 percent.
The CAC 40 index continued to languish after a weak opening. The index is currently falling 0.28 percent.
Unibail-Rodamco is declining 5.6 percent. Speed-train maker Alstom is losing 2.7 percent and insurer Axa is falling 2.6 percent.
Credit Agricole is dropping 4.9 percent. Societe Generale and BNP Paribas are modestly lower.
Renault is falling 2 percent and Peugeot is down 0.8 percent.
Loreal is making moderate gains.
Elsewhere in Europe, the German DAX is declining 0.91 percent and Switzerland's SMI is dropping 0.75 percent. The UK market is closed for a holiday.
In economic news, the German construction sector contracted slightly in April, survey results from Markit Economics showed. The seasonally adjusted construction Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 49.8 from March's 11-month high of 55.7.
German factory orders increased 2.2 percent in March from the previous month on robust foreign demand, the Federal Ministry of Economy and Technology said.
Eurozone investor sentiment declined in May to the lowest level since September 2009, data released by think tank Sentix showed. The corresponding index fell more than expected to -24.5 from -14.7 in April while the expected reading was -15.3.
Across Asia/Pacific, markets ended firmly in negative territory. Australia's All Ordinaries lost 2.2 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng retreated 2.6 percent and Japan's Nikkei 225 lost 2.8 percent. China's Shanghai Composite Index ended unchanged.
In the U.S., futures point to a lower open on Wall Street. In the previous session, stocks closed sharply lower after disappointing jobs data generated broad-based selling pressure. The Dow slid 1.3 percent, the Nasdaq plunged 2.3 percent and the S&P 500 fell 1.6 percent.
In the commodity space, crude for June delivery is sliding $0.63 to $97.86 per barrel and June gold is losing $2.6 to $1642.6 a troy ounce.
by RTT Staff Writer
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