MarketWatch First Take
Greek vote's Cinderella slipper falls off6/18/12 7:35 AM ET (MarketWatch)Print
LONDON (MarketWatch) -- Blink, and you probably missed it.
After all the fuss over Sunday's "knife-edge" Greek election and what it would mean for European financial markets at the start of the week, the short version is, well, the short version.
The 50-minute version, at any rate. Or thereabouts.
Whereas Asian stock markets decided to make a day of this narrow win for Greece's pro-bailout party -- securing solid advances from Sydney to Seoul -- at 8:00 a.m. London time this region's benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 index (SXXP) , Cinderella-like, ditched its loose knee-length nightgown and black slippers, put on its mother's party dress, ran a comb through its disheveled locks and promptly made a commendable effort at a rally -- for 50 minutes only. See: | Asia Markets rally on Greece
Then, suddenly, it decided not to. Not worth it, evidently. Too much effort.
As the day has gone on, there's been a modest punch back, but nothing like the strong early-morning gains.
Markets in Europe -- and what, in the end, was this election about if not an exercise in appeasing global financial markets? -- clearly felt that Greece's stark choice between staying in the euro zone or facing eternal exile and economic damnation in the form of a return to the drachma, or worse, was a box that required some serious ticking. That much is certain.
But just when everything seemed to change, it didn't. Yes, the New Democracy party received the largest share of the vote, at just under 30%. Greek election results
And with that, the immediate risk of Greece casting aside the euro faded somewhat. But political deadlock is still potentially visible on the horizon. The nation still needs to hack a coalition government out of the marble.
Greece's debt burden and economy still look like a grisly traffic accident.
What really happened is that the clock ticked over to about 8:50 a.m. local time, Cinderella's little glass slipper fell off and the carriage we were all riding in turned out to be Spain. Or Italy. Or both.