The Canadian dollar headed lower as traders avoided riskier assets like commodities and the loonie in favour of the safe-haven status of U.S. Treasuries. The currency declined 0.11 of a cent to 100.34 cents US.
U.S. futures were also lower with traders also discouraged about the pace of the American economic recovery following jobs data on Friday that showed the economy only managed to crank out 115,000 jobs during April.
The Dow Jones industrial futures were down 56 points to 12,901, the Nasdaq futures lost 14.8 points to 2,610.8 and the S&P 500 futures slipped 6.9 points to 1,355.6.
Final results showed socialist leader Francois Hollande narrowly defeated incumbent Nicholas Sarkozy with 51.62 per cent of the vote, ending 17 years of right wing government in France. Hollande campaigned on the need for more growth-generating economic policies and less reliance on austerity.
But investors were particularly worried by the election in Greece, which resulted in a split Parliament with no party likely to be able to form a government. The two parties that governed as a coalition for the past six months and pushed through tough austerity measures to secure crucial bailouts were pummelled to the benefit of more extreme parties of the right and left.
The socialist Pasok party suffered the biggest retreat. Its share of the vote collapsed from around 43 per cent in the last election in 2009 to a little over 13 per cent.
"The lack of a coalition between Greece's PASOK and New Democracy creates the unanswerable question of 'What happens next?,' " observed BMO Capital Markets senior economist Jennifer Lee.
"Both pro-austerity parties only won 32 per cent of the ballots so need to woo the other parties to have a coalition but that's not going to be easy.'"
A period of uncertainty looms for the bailed-out country, which is in its fifth year of recession and has over half its youth out of work following big spending cuts and tax increases in return for crucial international bailout funds.
Demand concerns continued to pressure oil prices. The June contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange lost 68 cents to US$97.81 a barrel.
Copper was unchanged at US$3.72 while bullion moved down $6.60 to US$1,638.60 an ounce.
Greek shares suffered earlier in the day, trading 8.2 per cent lower at one stage before recouping some ground alongside other European markets, to be trading six per cent lower.
Other European bourses were mixed with Frankfurt's DAX lost 0.56 per cent while the Paris CAC 40 edged up 0.3 per cent. UK markets were closed for a bank holiday.
Earlier in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index plunged 2.8 per cent to its lowest finish in three months with the market's export sector also sapped by a rising yen. Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 2.6 per cent.
In other Asia markets, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 2.2 per cent and South Korea's Kospi shed 1.6 per cent.
Worries about slowing economic growth and rising worries about the eurozone debt crisis helped push the TSX down three per cent last week, leaving the main index down about 0.7 per cent year to date.
Economic concerns tended to overshadow a series of positive earnings reports last week from BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE), insurer Manulife Financial (TSX:MFC), Suncor Energy (TSX:SU) and Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX).
It was light on the earnings calendar Monday with Cargojet Inc. (TSX:CJT) reporting that net income dropped to $30,000 or nil per share in the three months ended March 31. That compares to $1.3 million or 16 cents per share a year ago. Revenues weakened to $40.1 million from $41.1 million in the comparable period first-quarter results were affected by a continuation of declining volumes in its key overnight cargo services.
The pace picks up later in the week when food company and Loblaw (TSX:L) majority share owner George Weston (TSX:WN) reports on Tuesday, home improvement retailer Rona (TSX:RON), HudBay Minerals (TSX:HBM) and Tim Hortons (TSX:THI) and pipeline company Enbridbge (TSX:ENB) hand in earnings on Wednesday. Insurer Sun Life Financial (TSX:SU) and Canadian Tire (TSX:CTC.A) report on Thursday.
Elsewhere in corporate news, Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO) is setting up an office in the United Arab Emirates. The move expands its asset management and investment banking services to clients in the Middle East and North Africa.