Markets drop as Greece heads for another election
Tuesday 15 May 2012
Markets slid on the news today that coalition government talks in Greece have failed after nine days of discussions, meaning the country is heading for another election next month.
The worry in the markets is that the next round may lead to the triumph of parties that want to scrap the country's bailout agreements with international creditors, which would put Greece's membership of the euro into jeopardy. The left-wing Syriza party, which came second in the vote on 6 May, has said the draconian terms of Greece's financial rescue agreements should be scrapped or rewritten.
Any faint hope that the parties would come to an agreement were dashed when Evangelos Venizelos, the leader of the PASOK socialist party said the talks had failed and another election would be held.
Having enjoyed some support early in the session, stocks in Europe were falling again, particularly in Athens, where the main exchange was down another 4.6 per cent.
Among Europe's main markets, the FTSE 100 index of leading shares was down 0.4 per cent at 5,443 while Germany's DAX fell 1 per cent to 3,389. The CAC-40 in France was 0.5 per cent lower at 3,044. The euro also fell, trading 0.3 per cent lower at $1.2794.
Wall Street opened steadily, helped by a strong manufacturing survey for the New York region and upbeat retail sales figures for April — the Dow Jones industrial average up 0.1 percent at 12,708 and the broader S&P 500 index the same rate higher at 1,340.
The focus over the coming weeks will likely centre on Greece. With opinion polls showing increasing support for Syriza, analysts expect a showdown between whatever new government comes to power in Greece and the country's bailout rescuers.
Earlier, stocks in Europe had been buoyed by the surprise news that eurozone economy did not fall into recession in the first quarter of the year. Output was flat compared with the previous three-month period, better than the 0.2 per cent drop that analysts had been expecting. A drop would have put the eurozone technically back into recession, which is defined as two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.
"In the current context, zero growth in the eurozone in the first quarter is relatively good news," said Marie Diron, senior economic adviser at Ernst & Young. "It suggests that the economy is not falling off a cliff under the burden of fiscal austerity."
Asian markets fell earlier today, with Japan's Nikkei 225 down 0.8 per cent to 8,900.74, its lowest close since 3 February. South Korea's Kospi lost 0.8 per cent to 1,898.96. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.7 per cent to 4,266.30.
Oscar Pistorius trial: Defence witness contradicts athlete version
Oscar Pistorius trial: The case against Oscar Pistorius – and why the prosecution claims his story doesn't add up
South Korea ferry: Captain Lee Joon-seok could face criminal investigation as over 280 remain missing
Peaches Geldof dead: Private funeral for the family and friends of the socialite will take place next week
Shropshire criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
- 1 Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for sale...is anyone brave enough to buy it?
- 2 The Hobbit: There and Back Again set for possible title change
- 3 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Andre Johnson: Wu-Tang Clan-discovered rapper severed his penis and jumped from LA building
iJobs Money & Business
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£221.25 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a well established Inter...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Client Relationship Manager - SQL...
£35000 - £50000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: Take your chance to join the...