LONDON -- The Dow Jones Industrial Average
A Greek default and euro exit is now being openly discussed, although last-ditch coalition talks are continuing in Athens. No domestic economic data is due today, meaning that traders' attention will inevitably be drawn to European markets.
European finance ministers are meeting in Brussels today and tomorrow to discuss growth plans, and any developments will be keenly awaited. The latest official statistics show that eurozone industrial output contracted by 0.3% in March, against expectations of 0.4% growth. In European trading this morning, all the major markets fell, with the FTSE 100
The yield on Greek 10-year bonds rose to 27.2% this morning, while at the other end of the spectrum the desire for safe havens drove the yield on German 10-year bonds down to 1.46%. Spanish and Italian 10-year debt yields also rose further, highlighting the fear of wider contamination if Greece defaults.
The same concerns meant that big banks topped the list of fallers in London, with Lloyds Banking Group
In company news, JPMorgan Chase could see further hostile selling as the fallout from its highly public $2 billion hedging loss fiasco -- which includes a downgraded credit rating -- continues. Also in the news will be Avon Cosmetics, which has committed to provide a response to Coty's Buffett-backed buyout bid today. After falling on Friday, the cosmetics direct retailer was up strongly in pre-market trading this morning.
Although the Avon bid has drawn billionaire investor Warren Buffett's attention back home, he has been persuaded to invest more than $1 billion in a leading British blue chip. The legendary investor bought a famous British name with global expansion potential -- and you can discover the identity of the company and the price he paid in this special free report.
In earnings news today, daily-deals giant Groupon is expected to release quarterly earnings after the markets close tonight. Analysts expect to see revenue of about $530 million with a loss of $0.05 per share.
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