Friday market close: Delays in Greek talks see market fall

Markets fell after crunch talks between Greece and its creditors over a third bailout were delayed. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

Markets fell after crunch talks between Greece and its creditors over a third bailout were delayed. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

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Markets fell after crunch talks between Greece and its creditors over a third bailout were delayed.

A Greek government spokesman said creditor negotiators will arrive in Athens a day later than scheduled because of “technical issues” - playing down reports that there had been security concerns. The FTSE 100 index ended 75.2 points lower at 6579.81.

Greece’s travails had been weighing on markets until it sealed a controversial agreement with creditors earlier this month over a fresh bailout - which now appears to have hit a snag.

The top-flight had been ahead earlier in the session and the later fall means it has seen four days of losses out of five this week, including a 100-point rout on Wednesday - leaving it 195 points down since last Friday’s close.

In shares, mobile phone giant Vodafone was the best performer among London’s blue-chip stocks rising 6.5p to 238.5p after a well-received trading update showed service revenue growth of 0.8 per cent for the first quarter.

It comes after an improvement of 0.1 per cent in the previous quarter, the group’s first growth by this measure in nearly three years.

Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown stockbrokers, said: “Vodafone has bucked the trend of a weak wider market with an update which confirms its ongoing improvement.”

Pearson shares turned lower a day after it announced the £844m sale of the Financial Times to Japan’s Nikkei.

The group, which will now concentrate on its main educational publishing business, published half-year results showing sales up 1 per to £2.2 billion though adjusted operating profits were lower.

Shares closed down 15p at 1,219p.

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