What good is a Greek holiday with no money?

With the Greek 'holiday' extended until Thursday, it is clear that Yanis Varoufakis' promise that the banks will be open by today was yet more hot air in the pressure cooker of creditor negotiations. 

Flag in Athens
Source: Bloomberg

Another day, another deadline, as increasingly impatient EU officials have said that Syriza has a final chance to submit a new reform plan. However, Syriza's deadline is not set by creditors but is instead the ticking time bomb of an economy with no funding and a banking system on the brink of collapse. With that in mind, last night's European Central Bank decision to raise the collateral required by the lenders under the ELA programme was a squeeze that came at a time when there was little air left in the tank.

Today will no doubt be dominated by events in the eurozone, as a meeting of finance ministers is trumped by a summit where heads of state discuss the fallout from the Greek referendum.

Unfortunately, while the Greeks are expected to present a new plan to help pull the Greek economy back from the brink, it is unlikely that Sunday’s referendum will have swayed the creditors to the extent that their 'red lines' have moved enough to get a deal across the line. The two sides arguably seem further away than ever.

It is clear that the Chinese haven’t completely taken to this whole free markets thing, with the news that over 200 listed companies have recently suspended trading, bringing the running total to 651 out of a total of 2808 companies listed on Shenzhen and Shanghai indices.

The benefit that firms can simply opt out of any bear rally in the market may seem attractive to the layman, but this will no doubt serve as a warning sign for any investors hoping to trade the Chinese markets.

Marks & Spencer Group saw clothing sales fall in the first-quarter, defying CEO Marc Bolland's plans to reinvigorate the flagging area of business. However, with Q1 representing a particularly difficult period for many clothing retailers in the UK, it is worth focusing more upon the food and drink business which continues to outperform in a particularly testing sector.

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