MONDAY MARKET CLOSE: Greek waiting game unnerves investors

Concerns ahead of a payment deadline for Greece left London's blue-chip share index lower. Picture: AP
Concerns ahead of a payment deadline for Greece left London's blue-chip share index lower. Picture: AP
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CONCERNS ahead of a payment deadline for Greece and lacklustre manufacturing data left London’s blue-chip share index lower, putting paid to an initial rally that had sent it above the 7,000 mark in early trading

The FTSE 100 Index began the session positively, following Asian markets higher after a weak Chinese reading prompted hopes of more stimulus measures for the world’s second-biggest economy.

But sluggish manufacturing data from the UK and Europe proved a drag on sentiment, leaving the index down 30.85 points at 6953.58.

Worries about Greece continue after the country missed a self-imposed Sunday deadline for reaching an agreement with its lenders and ahead of an International Monetary Fund payment deadline on Friday. David Madden, market analyst at IG, said the fall showed that traders “can’t hold their nerve” as the deadline draws nearer.

“This isn’t the first time that Greece has brushed with bankruptcy, and it won’t be the last, but traders are getting out of the market while the exchange is open,” he added.

“If the past is anything to go on, then an agreement over financing will be announced at the last minute, and investors will come flooding back in, but while neither side is willing to buckle, dealers will stay on the sidelines.”

Commodities firms were lower in the wake of the weak Chinese data, with Fresnillo off 5p to 754.5p and Anglo American down 23p to 1,003p.

The biggest FTSE 100 risers were Ashtead up 31p at 1,151p, Dixons Carphone up 9.3p at 484.7p, International Airlines Group up 6.5p at 560.5p and British Land up 10p at 872p.

The biggest fallers were Weir Group down 68p at 1,956p, Imperial Tobacco down 64p at 3,306p and Standard Chartered down 17.5p at 1,028.5p.