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Greece has managed to wrangle over €3 billion in emergency financing from the European Central Bank to keep its banking system afloat, but Athens has now lodged a request to extend its loan agreement by six months. The ECB will not be a soft touch forever and this time round the Greeks must make some concessions if they want the loan to be extended. Eurozone equity markets are mixed as the Greek saga continues to hang over the markets.
Centrica shares have shed 8% of their value this morning, as the energy giant swung to a net loss of £1.1 billion. Both capital expenditure and the dividend were slashed by 40% and 30% respectively. The energy provider is under political pressure to pass on the drop in commodity prices to its customers, and the nature of the business means that if its clients are happy, then its shareholders are unhappy.
Rexam has received a renewed offer from US rival Ball, and the board of directors at Rexam are recommending it to the shareholders. The new cash and equity deal that has been put on the table values the stock at £6.10, and this is a 9% premium to the current share price.
Shares in Sports Direct are marginally higher this morning after the company posted a single-digit increase in third-quarter sales growth. The growth rate was slower than the same period last year, but the commitment to the full-year target comforted investors.
We are expecting the Dow Jones to open 50 points lower, at 17,980, as global concerns weigh on the US index futures. The Federal Reserve is in no rush to raise rates as dwindling inflation, security issues in Ukraine and financial uncertainty in Greece are forcing the Fed to play the wait and see game.