Asian markets lower as Greece talks stall
The FTSE100 edged away from recent highs as the Greek talks dragged on with little sign of an early resolution. The benchmark index closed down 36.98 pts or 0.5% at 6,807.82.
The Eurogroup meeting in Brussels ended without a deal and is set to resume on Saturday morning.
Markets in Asia and the US pulled back overnight as nervousness crept in ahead of a meeting of European Union leaders trying to avert a default by Greece on its debt repayment.
Next week’s deadline to repay €1.6 billion (£1.14 billion) to the International Monetary Fund looming is threatening to trigger Greece’s removal from the Eurozone trading block. Another meeting takes place later today with lack of any certainty on the outcome.
Japan’s Nikkei index fell about 0.3%, reversing optimism on Greece earlier in the week that helped push it to its highest level since 1996.
Supermarket giant Tesco advanced on rumours that private equity firms Affinity Equity Partners, Carlyle Group and CVC Capital Partners were among seven or eight preliminary bidders for Tesco’s South Korean unit.
Recycled packing maker DS Smith gained after posting a 20% rise in full-year pre-tax profit and a 14% increase in the full-year dividend.
Department store Debenhams also advanced after saying it was on track to meet full-year gross profit targets, helped by a 0.9% improvement in like-for-like sales.