TUESDAY MARKET CLOSE: Greek debt saga weighs on FTSE

The Greek debt repayment deadline continues to impact top-flight shares. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
The Greek debt repayment deadline continues to impact top-flight shares. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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Fresh concerns over debt-laden Greece’s ability to meet a looming repayment deadline continued to impact top-flight shares in London with little respite offered by reassuring UK economic data.

The benchmark FTSE 100 Index slid 25.31 points to 6,928.27 with little reassurance offered by Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras’s move to submit a “realistic proposal” to the country’s international creditors in an attempt to secure a deal over its debts, with a repayment due to the International Monetary Fund on Friday.

Chris Beauchamp, senior market analyst at IG, said: “When, at last, the history of the Greek crisis is finally written, historians will wonder how anyone kept their sanity during the endless back-and-forth headline battles that have characterised each twist and turn.

“Today has been a repeat of previous sessions, with deal and denial following swiftly upon each other’s heels.”

Merlin Entertainments saw its shares drop more than 3 per cent – down 15.9p to 444.3p – after a collision between two carriages on the Smiler rollercoaster at its Alton Towers theme park left four teenagers with serious leg injuries.

Morrisons was among the risers after industry data from Kantar Worldpanel showed it grew sales for the first time in nearly 18 months in a welcome sign of recovery at the struggling supermarket chain. Shares rose 3.1p to 172.5p.

Building supply group Wolseley was one of the biggest FTSE gainers after its latest trading statement showed like-for-like sales up 7.5 per cent in the third quarter and gross margins ahead. The stock rose 2 per cent, or 81p, to 4,100p.

Shares in AO World dropped 3.5 per cent to 170p despite it narrowing annual losses, after the electrical appliance retailer said sales growth slowed in its fourth quarter and warned of a challenging year ahead.