LONDON -- The main news story this morning is the result of the Greek election, which has narrowly returned a pro-euro government. The winning New Democracy Party's commitment to reforms and austerity has boosted the Greek stock market, with the Athens General Index quickly gaining nearly 6% to 592 points.
The news also initially pleased the markets of Europe, but after an early rise, they all dropped right back. Despite opening over 5,550, the FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) slid back to 5,474, for no overall movement at all.
The German DAX did a little better, enthusiastically rising at the start of the day, but it fell back to 6,280, for a 0.8% rise on its previous close. In Paris, the CAC 40 is just a third of a percent ahead of its last close, on 3,097 points.
The Vodafone (NAS: VOD) bid for Cable & Wireless Worldwide (ISE: CW.L) is looking pretty much done and dusted now, after Orbis -- which owns around 20% of the target -- has conceded that it now cannot stop it. That pushed Cable & Wireless shares up 8% to a fraction below the offer price, at 37.8p. Vodafone shares were largely unchanged by the news, standing at 173p.
With results due on Thursday, Dixons Retail put on a modest 1% in early trading, to 13.1p.
The table of FTSE 100 fallers was dominated, once again, by banks and financials, which weren't helped by the Greek election outcome. Lloyds Banking Group (NYS: LYG) lost 2.4% to 30.5p, Royal Bank of Scotland Group (NYS: RBS) dropped 1.9% to 243p, and Barclays fell 1% to 199p.
Troubled fund manager Man Group announced the departure of finance director Kevin Hayes, to be replaced by Jonathan Sorrell, which might help to stabilize the share price slide. For today at least, the price was pretty much unchanged at 73p.
Biggest rise of the day
Quintain Estates, the London property developer that has seen its shares slide over the past 12 months, got a boost from news of a joint-venture agreement to develop the Greenwich Peninsula in Hong Kong. The deal, in partnership with Knight Dragon, added 19% to the share price, taking it up to 39p.
There was a little movement in oil companies, with Soco International telling us it will continue its share repurchase programme. That knocked 2% off the price, to 296p. And Salamander Energy enjoyed a 2% rise to 180p after releasing a spudding report.
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