A slide in Greek shares led European stocks to their lowest level in two months on concern that debt negotiations will fail to secure funding in time to prevent the nation defaulting.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 1.5 percent to 391.01 at the close of trading, after earlier rising as much as 1.1 percent on better-than-estimated company results. Shares extended losses after a Greek official said a funding deal won’t be possible until international creditors agree on a common set of demands. Greece’s ASE Index slid 3.9 percent, the most in seven weeks.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Greece may not be able complete the work needed for an agreement on financial aid in time for funds to be disbursed by the May 12 deadline for repayment of about 1 billion euros ($ 1.1 billion) to the International Monetary Fund.
The Stoxx 600 has still risen 14 percent this year amid a weaker euro and unprecedented monetary stimulus, prompting the European Commission to raise its euro-area growth forecast.
The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index reversed an earlier advance of as much as 1 percent, falling 0.8 percent, as the market reopened after a holiday. The Swiss Market Index gave up gains of as much as 1.2 percent, also dropping 0.8 percent. Germany’s DAX Index slid 2.5 percent to its lowest level in two months.