European stocks dip before Greek debt talks

GMT 13:54 2015 Monday ,16 February

Arab Today, arab today European stocks dip before Greek debt talks

European stocks
London - AFP

European stocks dipped Monday on fresh worries over Greece's upcoming debt talks in Brussels, with investor sentiment also dented by Ukraine's shaky ceasefire.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index sagged 0.20 percent to stand at 6,859.40 points in late morning deals in the British capital.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 shed 0.45 percent to 10,914 points and the CAC 40 index in Paris reversed 0.12 percent to 4,753.80 compared with Friday's close.
The Greek market however crashed by more than four percent before a key meeting of eurozone finance ministers over Athens' controversial proposals to overhaul its bailout.
"Discussions between Greece and fellow eurozone nations are set to continue this week, after last week’s failure to make any breakthrough in negotiations," said ETX Capital analyst Daniel Sugarman.
He added that "a final agreement would appear to depend on at least one of the two sides making significant concessions."
The Greek market was the heaviest faller on investor fears that Greece and its international creditors, led by European paymaster Germany, would fail to reach an agreement.
"Time and money are running out for Greece," said Holger Schmieding of Berenberg financial analysts.
"A subtle change in tone in Athens suggests that the new Greek government has started to notice.
"But whether Prime Minister (Alexis) Tsipras has really grasped how close he has already pushed Greece to the abyss of wholesale financial crisis, recession and 'Grexit', and whether he is ready to perform the inevitable U-turn to avoid that fate remains a very open question," he said.
Tsipras has admitted the meeting of the 19 eurozone finance ministers, which kicks off at 1400 GMT, will be "difficult" and that "it is early to speak of an agreement."
Greece risks being forced out of the euro -- in what has been dubbed a "Grexit" -- if a deal is not found by the end of the month, when its mammoth 240 billion euro bailout runs out.
- 'Old bugbears are back' -
Meanwhile, investors are increasingly anxious over Ukraine.
Under a peace plan inked by the rebels and Kiev both sides were meant to start withdrawing heavy weaponry from the frontline no later than two days after the start of a truce that came into effect from 2200 GMT Saturday.
However fighting still persists around the key government-held town of Debaltseve and both sides accuse each other of continued firing.
"The old bugbears are back to stalk markets," said analyst Chris Beauchamp at trading firm IG.
"The ceasefire in Ukraine, barely a day old, is already looking shaky, while anxious eurozone markets turn their eyes to the latest meeting between finance ministers, who are recommencing the uphill struggle to hammer out an agreement between Greece and its partners."
Asian equities had however advanced Monday after a record close on Wall Street, while Greece's leadership expressed confidence it could hammer out a new debt deal with European creditors.
Markets are hoping a deal can be reached before the end of the month, when Greece's bailout is due to expire. Failure to agree an extension would see it default on its giant debts and likely mean it would crash out of the eurozone.
Japanese shares ended above 18,000 points for the first time in more than seven years, supported by data showing the nation's economy had exited recession.
Tokyo rose 0.51 percent to finish at 18,004.77 -- the first time it has been above the psychologically key level since July 2007.
Hong Kong added 0.18 percent, Shanghai climbed 0.58 percent, Sydney added 0.19 percent and Seoul was marginally higher..
The European single currency meanwhile firmed to $1.1403 in late morning London deals from $1.1393 late in New York on Friday.


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