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Europe: Stock markets fall at open


[LONDON] Europe's main stock markets fell at the start of trading on Tuesday, with Greece set to default on a payment owed to the International Monetary Fund.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index dropped 0.40 per cent to open at 6,593.78 points compared with Monday's close.

Frankfurt's DAX 30 lost 0.23 per cent to 11,058.04 points and in Paris the CAC 40 shed 0.42 per cent to 4,849.39.

Losses were far less acute than on Monday, when the Frankfurt and Paris indices both closed down more than 3.5 per cent over fears that Greece may be heading for a eurozone exit.

Greece on Tuesday looked set to miss an IMF payment and default, with a defiant Athens urging Greeks to reject creditors' demands for tough reforms in a weekend referendum, despite warnings that this would lead to a chaotic Greek exit from the eurozone.

Thousands took to Greece's streets on Monday night to support their government's opposition to the latest debt proposals, after a clash with the country's creditors forced a shutdown of its banks and brought the country close to financial collapse.