FRIDAY MARKET CLOSE: Greek crisis talks weigh on Footsie
The FTSE 100 index had pushed higher in the previous couple of sessions on hopes that discussions between Greece and its creditors were nearing a resolution.
But it closed 61.82 points lower at 6,784.92 after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) pulled out of negotiations saying there had been no progress.
Tony Cross, market analyst at Trustnet Direct, said blue chip equities had found “little worth cheering with an air of caution gripping markets across the globe”.
“Concern over the lack of progress in Greek debt talks – which saw the IMF walk out of meetings yesterday and return to Washington – is pointing towards a far bigger correction. There’s no doubt that global equity markets are overdue a sell-off, it just seems now that the only outstanding factor is what will trigger a move like this,” he said.
Among the fallers in London were supermarkets after a strong couple of sessions when sentiment over the sector had been boosted by a trading update this week from Sainsbury’s, which showed a better-than-feared decline in sales.
Hopes that the worst will soon be over for Britain’s listed grocers – after a fierce price war amid a battle with discounters Aldi and Lidl – had pushed stocks higher. But traders started taking profits as the week drew to a close.
Sainsbury’s fell 2.2p to 261.8p while Morrisons slipped 3.3p to 178.3p and Tesco was off 1.95p at 213.7p.
Elsewhere, Royal Mail won back some of the losses it had suffered in the previous session, when it dipped 4 per cent after the Treasury offloaded half its remaining stake in the group at 500p a share, a slight discount on its closing price on Wednesday. The stock topped the FTSE 100 risers’ board, up 13.7p to 507p.