Greek Stocks Lead Europe Markets Lower as Debt Talks Break Down

Greece dragged European stocks to their lowest level on almost four months after weekend debt talks between the Mediterranean nation and its creditors broke down.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped 1.6 percent to 383.02 at the close of trading. Greece’s ASE Index dropped 4.7 percent, with Alpha Bank AE and Piraeus Bank SA tumbling at least 9 percent. Italy’s FTSE MIB Index posted the second-worst performance among western-European markets, with a 2.4 percent decline.

Talks in Brussels between Greece and its creditors fell apart after just 45 minutes on Sunday. The European Commission said that the divide between what creditors demanded and what Greece was prepared to do couldn’t be bridged. The June 18 meeting of euro-area finance ministers may now be a make-or-break session deciding whether it can avert default.

The latest failure to find a compromise to unlock as much as 7.2 billion euros ($ 8.1 billion) in aid for Greece’s anti-austerity government was accompanied by warnings about the risk of the country’s exit from the 19-nation euro.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said it’s up to the Greek government to take the next step to break the deadlock with creditors and secure a deal on its bailout.

Source: Bloomberg

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