FRIDAY MARKET CLOSE: Fears over Greek default drag index down

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. Picture: Getty
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. Picture: Getty
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THE London market ended lower with traders concerned that Greece’s debt talks will see it default next week unless a deal is agreed.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras failed to reach a deal with his country’s lenders yesterday, and then a meeting of European finance ministers broke up without progress.

The FTSE 100 Index was down 54.12 points to 6,753.7, with the market particularly disappointed because at the start of the week it looked possible that a deal would have been brokered by Thursday.

Trustnet Direct market analyst Tony Cross said: “Once again it’s Greece that is squarely in focus and the lack of progress with the debt bailout talks is clearly leading to an air of uncertainty in the market.”

In the top flight Tesco was the strongest riser, up 5.9p to 223.7p, after the troubled supermarket said it had stemmed its first quarter sales decline.

The grocer said its UK like-for-like sales fell by 1.3% in the period, compared with a 4% fall in the same period last year and a 1.7% decline in the previous quarter.

The news dragged up rivals with Sainsbury’s 1.9p higher to 276.3p, while Morrisons was up 1.1p at 184.2p.

Apple chip supplier ARM Holdings was the heaviest faller in the top flight as traders weighed up the possibility that Apple may make greater use of an app upgrading service called Bitcode. This may eat into the US computer firm’s reliance on ARM chips.

Daily Record owner Trinity Mirror said it will double its cost savings programme in a bid to offset falling sales from print advertising.

The group saw shares fall more than 5 per cent, or 8.8p to 150.5p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 index included Anglo American down 35.2p at 959.6p, BHP Billiton down 34.5p at 1,301.5p and Glencore down 7p at 266.6p.