U.S. stock index futures pointed to a sharply lower open Monday following the first round of presidential elections in France and as the Netherlands teetered on the brink of political and economic crisis over concerns about its national debt.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy finished second in the first round of elections in France on Sunday, compared with his main rival, Socialist leader Francois Hollande. It is the first time an incumbent French president has come in second in the first-round vote in the present electoral system’s 54-year history. The second round will be held in two weeks.
Meanwhile, the Netherlands was drawn into Europe's debt crisis over the weekend when the government failed to agree on budget cuts, making elections almost unavoidable and casting doubt on its support for future euro zone measures.
AndGermany's manufacturing sector unexpectedly declined at the fastest pace in nearly three years in April, denting hopes that it can drive growth in the euro zone and casting a shadow over upbeat business sentiment surveys.
European shares slumped as political tensions in Europe and mixed economic data from China prompted declines in banking and basic resource stocks.Page 1 of 4 | Next Page