Stocks slip as clock ticks on Greek deal
Tue close: Eurozone stocks were supported by hopes for a last-minute Greek deal. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has asked for another extension to today’s deadline for repaying a loan to the IMF.
Tsipras, who has called a referendum for Sunday to vote on the bailout terms has requested a two-year deal covering funding support and debt restructuring, an issue the lenders have so far been reluctant to tackle.
If no agreement is reached, Greece will default on the loan, setting it on a path out of the euro. There seemed little likelihood of an agreement.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country is Greece’s biggest creditor, suggested that there may be no time left for a deal.
Meantime, new data showed Britain’s economy enjoyed a stronger start to the year than previously thought, but weak exports are a drag on growth and contributed to another fall in the FTSE100.
The index slipped 1.53% or 99.5 pts to close at 6,520.98, the lowest finish for the Footsie since 12 January. Retailers were among the biggest fallers as figures from Kantar showed the overall UK grocery market fell 0.1% in the 12 weeks to 21 June. Tesco, whose sales were estimated to have fallen 1.3%, saw its shares fall 2.2%.
Standard Life also fell sharply, closing 2.5% lower after analysts at RBC downgraded the stock to “underperform” from “sector perform”.also fell sharply, closing 2.5% lower after analysts at RBC downgraded the stock to “underperform” from “sector perform”.