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Euro wobble as anti-austerity party set to govern Greece, stock markets sanguine

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SEOUL, South Korea — The euro wobbled Monday after Greece's anti-austerity opposition party won a big victory in national elections, renewing fears the European common currency bloc could unravel. Stock markets in Europe and Asia, however, were relatively stable while futures pointed to modest falls on Wall Street.

KEEPING SCORE: European stocks were mostly higher after some fluctuations. Germany's DAX rose 0.4 percent to 10,690.87 and France's CAC 40 added 0.2 percent to 4,650.18. Britain's FTSE 100 lost 0.2 percent to 6,822.47. U.S. futures were down but had narrowed their losses. Both S&P 500 futures and Dow Jones futures were off 0.2 percent. The euro bounced back, rising 0.4 percent to $1.1246 after trading at its lowest since 2003.

GREEK ELECTION: Syriza party, the left-wing party vowing to end Greece's painful austerity policies, won a historic victory in Sunday's parliamentary elections. Alexis Tsipras, the party leader, promised to end "humiliation and pain" that Greece has endured since a 2010 international bailout imposed harsh spending cuts, setting up a showdown with the country's international creditors that could shake the eurozone.

PHOTO: A woman waves a Greek flag during a speech by the leader of Syriza left-wing party Alexis Tsipras outside Athens University Headquarters, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015. A triumphant Alexis Tsipras told Greeks that his radical left Syriza party's win in Sunday's early general election meant an end to austerity and humiliation and that the country's regular and often fraught debt inspections were a thing of the past. "Today the Greek people have made history. Hope has made history," Tsipras said in his victory speech at a conference hall in central Athens. (AP Photo/Fotis Plegas G.)
A woman waves a Greek flag during a speech by the leader of Syriza left-wing party Alexis Tsipras outside Athens University Headquarters, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015. A triumphant Alexis Tsipras told Greeks that his radical left Syriza party's win in Sunday's early general election meant an end to austerity and humiliation and that the country's regular and often fraught debt inspections were a thing of the past. "Today the Greek people have made history. Hope has made history," Tsipras said in his victory speech at a conference hall in central Athens. (AP Photo/Fotis Plegas G.)

ANALYST'S TAKE: "Doubts over whether the EU bailout program will be extended should keep Greek bonds and the euro under pressure," said Chang Wei Liang at Mizuho Bank in a commentary. Within Europe, "Syriza's victory could signal a broadening shift of support away from mainstream political parties toward economic populism, and might lead to more active political pressure to pare back austerity measures within Spain and Italy as well."

ASIA SCORECARD: Most Asian markets narrowed their early losses with Chinese stocks turning higher. Japan's Nikkei 225 finished 0.3 percent lower at 17,468.52 and South Korea's Kospi was flat at 1,935.68. Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed 0.2 percent higher at 24,909.90 and China's Shanghai Composite jumped 0.9 percent to close at 3,383.18.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was down 76 cents to $44.83 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 72 cents to settle at $45.59 on Friday. The price of oil has fluctuated since the death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah late last week. Analysts said the king's death is unlikely to change Saudi's oil production levels, a key factor in the global prices, but it has created a small amount of additional uncertainty that has unsettled markets. Brent crude was down 75 cents to $48.03 a barrel on the ICE exchange in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 118.27 yen from 117.80 yen.

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