Greece’s political troubles continued to dominate investor psychology today, pushing European markets down and leaving Wall Street to muddle through.
Europe’s markets all closed down as Greece’s opposing political parties failed to form a coalition government after lengthy talks. An interim government is due to be appointed Wednesday ahead of another round of elections slated for June. Investors continue to worry that Greece will drop the euro and possibly destabilize the currency bloc.
The FTSE MIB in Milan sank 2.7 percent to 13,311.36, followed by the DAX in Frankfurt, which dropped 0.8 percent to 6,401.06. The CAC 40 in Paris closed down 0.6 percent to 3,039.27 while the FTSE 100 in London dipped 0.5 percent to 5,437.62.
Mining stocks, including Kazakhmys and Rio Tinto, led the retreat in London, while banking stocks including Credit Agricole, Societe Generale and BNP Paribas led the decline in Paris.
After starting the day off positively, most fashion, luxury and retail stocks closed down. Among the biggest decliners were French Connection, which tumbled 4.5 percent to 40 pence; Geox, 5.1 percent to 1.77 euros; Aeffe, 2.3 percent to 0.58 euros, and Carrefour, 1.4 percent to 13.81 euros.
The few gainers included Inditex, up 2.2 percent to 68.94 euros; L’Oreal, 1.7 percent to 92.55 euros and, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, up 1.1 percent to 122.35 euros.
The pound went for $1.60 to while the euro traded at $1.28.
In the last half-hour of trading on Wall Street, the S&P Retail Index was up 0.44 points to 616.09 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 0.5 percent, or 64.71 points, 12,630.64.
Offpricer TJX Cos. Inc. was up 7 percent to $42.49 after reporting a 58 percent gain in first-quarter profits. Other gainers included The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., up 7 percent to $4.88; True Religion Apparel Inc., 3 percent to $28.03; Tumi Holdings Inc., 2.5 percent to $21.77, and Tilly’s Inc., 2.3 percent to $18.57.