Return of Greek fears pulls FTSE lower

In mid-morning trading the FTSE 100 is in the red as worries over Greece spark a decline.

Alexis Tsipras
Source: Bloomberg

Greek default fears are back at the forefront of traders’ minds ahead of the meeting between Angela Merkel and Alexis Tsipras today. The relationship between Greece and Germany is far from friendly and five years on from the beginning of the Greek debt crisis, things are only getting worse. Greece is getting used to entering crisis talks and the Syriza party seem all too happy to be haggling with creditors, but the equity markets haven’t got the stomach for it.

IG is offering a number of political markets on the UK general election. The binary bet market is indicating the Conservatives will win 285 seats, and the Labour party will take 274 seats. Meanwhile, the general election market is indicating a 90% chance of no overall majority.

Anglo American shares are sliding this morning after the miner had a mixed first-quarter production update. Iron ore output rose during the period but most of the other major minerals saw production levels fall. Anglo American is the smallest of the big four miners listed on the FTSE 100, and the mining sector is yet to see any consolidation like the oil and gas sector. Today’s underwhelming update could make the stock a target.

Taylor Wimpey touched a new multi-year high this morning after the homebuilder had a solid start to 2015. Rising house prices and a healthy jump in forward sales nudged the stock higher, and with two weeks to go until the general election the stock is showing no  signs of wavering.

In the US, we are calling the Dow Jones down 100 points, at 17,940, as turmoil in the eurozone travels across the Atlantic.

Shares in heavy machinery manufacturer Caterpillar are trading lower in the pre-market as traders await the company’s first-quarter numbers at lunch time. Caterpillar’s revenue has been crippled by the collapse in the commodity markets, and the full impact of reduced capital expenditure by natural resource companies has yet to be fully realised.

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