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 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 closed 17 percent percent down, Alpha Bank fell 11 percent and the National Bank of Greece dropped sharply by around 13 percent, amid concern about the impact of Syriza’s win.
Greek elections weigh
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 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 sector was the major underperformer, with metal prices showing some weakness at the start of the trading week. Energy stocks also saw some selling, down 0.3 percent, with the price of Brent and WTI both falling in the morning session.