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Morning Market Roundup: Germany Begs EU to Stick With Austerity, Greece's Anti-Bailout Party, Stocks Down on Euro Elections

Morning Market Roundup: Germany Begs EU to Stick With Austerity, Greece's Anti-Bailout Party, Stocks Down on Euro Elections

Here's what's important in the business world this morning:

Austerity: Germany and the European Commission on Tuesday called on EU nations to stick to their agreed budget cuts despite mounting voter discontent, but promised some new efforts to boost growth to alleviate economic hardship.

In elections on Sunday, voters in France and Greece gave strong support to parties who want to roll back or slow down the spending cuts and tax increases that have defined Europe's response to its debt crisis.

That added to cries from labor unions and some governments for more measures to boost economic growth to offset the devastating impact on jobs that austerity measures are having.

Officials in Berlin and Brussels said there was some room for more reforms to help growth, but insisted that any new growth policies must not detract from Europe's drive to lower its deficits.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said there could be no fundamental change in direction.

Greece: Greece's commitment to austerity is no longer valid because voters have rejected those deals, a left-wing party leader declared Tuesday as he tried to form a new coalition government.

Alexis Tsipras, head of the Radical Left Coalition that came a surprise second in Sunday's tumultuous election, called upon Greece's two main party leaders to renege on their support for the multibillion-euro international bailout that is keeping Greece afloat.

Greece was expected to pass billions in new austerity measures in the next month in order to get its next batch of bailout money.

Those worries sent shares sinking nearly 7 percent on the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday, and shares dropped a further 1.3 percent by midday Tuesday.

Voters furious over years of painful budget cuts and higher taxes hammered both Samaras' conservative New Democracy and PASOK in the ballot. The two parties have dominated politics for the last four decades and had backed Greece's multibillion-dollar bailouts. Support scattered to several smaller parties - ranging from moderate leftists to an extreme right group blamed for street attacks against immigrants.

Stocks: U.S. stocks are following European markets lower as traders fret about political uncertainty caused by elections in Greece and France.

Stocks in fell broadly in Europe Tuesday as voters wondered how the political upheaval there will play out.

Greek conservatives said they were unable to form a government after voters rejected austerity and elevated a slew of splinter parties to parliament on Sunday. The other leading party appears unlikely to form a governing coalition. Another round of elections now appears likely.

Oil: Oil fell to near $97 a barrel Tuesday in Asia, extending nearly a week of losses as signs of sluggish economic growth in the U.S. and Europe foreshadowed tepid demand for crude.

Benchmark oil for June delivery was down 90 cents to $97.04 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The contract settled down 55 cents at $97.94 in New York on Monday after trading as low as $95.34 per barrel - its cheapest level this year. Brent crude for June delivery was down 78 cents at $112.38 per barrel in London.

Crude has dropped from $106 last week as indicators from major developed economies show they continue to struggle. Last week, the U.S. said factory orders fell in March while the economy added fewer jobs than expected in April. Spain said its economy slipped into recession last quarter as the unemployment rate reached 24 percent.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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