Markets spooked by Greek debt delay


With a final decision now not due until Monday on whether to grant Greece a €130 billion bailout, markets are worried that the country could be ejected out of the euro.

A conference call last night between euro finance ministers failed to provide a definitive answer to the problem of a Greek bailout and there are growing fears and rumours in the markets that the country may not be bailed out until April, or that it may be forced out of the euro and into a debt default situation. Tensions have risen, particularly as Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos has accused some countries of trying to engineer a Greek euro exit.


As a result, markets have been concerned by these developments.

Three-month copper has fallen to a three week low of $8,233 (£5,211) this morning. Aluminium also dropped to $2,188 (£1,385) a tonne on the LME today.

The S&P GSCI index of 24 commodities dropped 0.4 per cent on the news.

WTI oil for March delivery fell 78 cents to $101.02, while Brent Crude for April settlement dropped 61 cents to $118.32 a barrel.

On a slightly more positive note, Europe’s economy shrank less than economists had forecast.

Gross domestic product in the euro area fell 0.3 per cent from the prior three months. This was the first drop since the second quarter of 2009, but was better than the 0.4 per cent fall predicted by economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

German GDP fell 0.2 per cent in the fourth quarter compared to the third when its GDP increased by 0.6 per cent.

However, the French economy surprised analysts by growing by 0.2 per cent.