June 18 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock futures rose, following a two-week gain in equities, as concern over Greece exiting the euro eased after official projections showed that the largest pro-bailout parties won enough seats to form a coalition.
Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures expiring in September added 0.5 percent to 1,344.70 at 7:01 a.m. Tokyo time. The benchmark measure for U.S. equities advanced 1.3 percent last week. The euro appreciated 0.9 percent to $1.2745 today.
“This allows Greece to step back from the brink,” Peter Sorrentino. who helps oversee $14.7 billion at Huntington Asset Advisors in Cincinnati, said in a phone interview. “It gives Europe a little breathing room to deal with the Spanish situation. It buys them more time. We’ll get some positive carry through.”
The election would give New Democracy and Pasok 163 seats if they agree to govern together in the 300-member parliament, according to the official projection by the Interior Ministry in Athens based on 80 percent of the vote. Antonis Samaras’s New Democracy had 30 percent, or 130 seats, and Socialist Pasok took 12.5 percent for 33 seats, the projection showed. Alexis Tsipras’s Syriza, which advocated reneging on the terms of the bailout, won 26.6 percent, or 71 seats.
Equity futures also rose after German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government signaled a willingness to loosen Greece’s austerity requirements as long as the next government stands by its obligations under a European Union-led bailout program. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said negotiators might consider giving Greece more time to rein in its finances.
Concern about Europe’s debt crisis and a global slowdown put the S&P 500 on the brink of a so-called correction earlier this month. The index fell 9.9 percent from an almost four-year high in April through June 1. Since then, the lowest valuation in six months and bets on global policy action drove the measure up 5.1 percent.
Policy makers from the U.K. to Japan and Canada stepped up warnings about the threat to financial markets should Europe fail to contain its crisis. In the U.S., reports showing a decline in retail sales, industrial production and consumer confidence added to evidence of economic weakness before Federal Reserve policy makers meet June 19-20 to decide whether more stimulus is needed.
World leaders meeting in Mexico will boost the $430 billion firewall the International Monetary Fund announced in April, host President Felipe Calderon said. Leaders of the Group of 20 nations are gathering in Los Cabos for a two-day summit dominated by the financial crisis in Europe and its risk to the global economy.
--Editor: Jeff Sutherland
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