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Morning Market Roundup: Neo-Nazis Again in Greek Elections, China Has a Knockoff For Everything (Even Banks)


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

Greece: Fears of an imminent Greek exit from Europe’s joint currency receded Sunday after the conservative New Democracy party came first in a critical election and pro-bailout parties won enough seats to form a joint government.

New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras cast Sunday‘s choice as one between keeping the euro and returning to Greece’s old currency, the drachma. He has vowed to renegotiate some of the bailout‘s harsher terms but insists the top priority is for the country to remain in Europe’s joint currency.

But there were other gains made as well.

“Greece's neo-Nazi party Chryssi Avghi (Golden Dawn) won between 6.0 and 7.5% of the vote in Sunday’s elections, according to exit polls,” according to the European Jewish Press. “The party, whose support has been boosted by anti-immigrant anger, scored 6.97% in inconclusive elections last month, winning 21 seats in the 300-member Parliament.”

“The head of Golden Dawn party Nikos Mihaloliakos has denied the existence of gas chambers in Nazi concentration camps during WWII in an interview on Greek television,” the report adds.

(Related: Results: Pro-Bailout Party Wins Greek Elections)

Sunday’s result is likely to relieve investors, but stock analysts were already warning that any bounce for financial markets could be short-lived.

India: India's central bank left its key interest rate unchanged Monday due to inflation concerns, thwarting hopes of a rate cut to kickstart flagging growth in Asia's third-largest economy.

The Reserve Bank of India said the policy repo rate - at which it makes short term loans to banks - would remain unchanged at 8.0 percent, and the cash reserve ratio - the ratio of cash banks must keep on hand - would stay at 4.75 percent.

"Future actions will depend on a continuing assessment of external and domestic developments that contribute to lowering inflation risks," the bank said in its policy statement. It said headline inflation remains "above levels consistent with sustainable growth."

Knockoff Banks: Rice trader Lin Chunping invented a U.S. bank and claimed he bought it.

The little-known businessman shot to fame in January when state media reported that he had taken over Delaware-based Atlantic Bank. The unprecedented acquisition brought him praise: His hometown gave him a prestigious political appointment and state media called his business experience "legendary."

The only thing that may have been legendary is Lin's audacity. Not only did he not buy Atlantic Bank in Delaware for $60 million as he claimed, but there is no Atlantic Bank in that state.

Chinese reporters could not locate an Atlantic Bank or a bank registration by Lin in Delaware. He's under arrest for an unrelated fraud and has been forced to give up his municipal-level appointment to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the government's top advisory body.

U.S. Futures: U.S. stock futures slipped Monday with markets still focused on Europe, where an election in Greece provided only a brief boost in optimism over the continent's ability to withstand tenacious debt problems.

Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 65 points to 12,645. Standard & Poor's 500 futures gave up 6.5 points to 1,331 and Nasdaq futures fell 6.5 points to 2,557.50.

Central banks stood down Monday after the Greeks elected conservative leader Antonis Samaras, which reduces the odds that the country will exit the 17-country European Union financial block. Anxiety over a Greek exit was so pronounced that many expected a run on banks Monday if political parties opposing a fiscal bailout had won the election.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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