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[LONDON] Europe's main stock markets sank at the start of trading on Monday as fears of a Greek euro exit intensified after talks with creditors collapsed.
In opening trade, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index slid 0.52 per cent to 6,749.81 points, Frankfurt's DAX 30 lost 1.28 per cent to 11,053.21 points and the CAC 40 in Paris shed 1.15 per cent to 4,844.95 compared with the closing levels on Friday.
"European stocks are starting out the new trading week on a negative note as 'last ditch' talks with Greece not unsurprisingly ended once again without a solution or compromise," said analyst Markus Huber at brokerage Peregrine & Black.
"In light of Greece being unwilling or unable to make any concessions at all, especially what pensions are concerned, it remains doubtful that a solution to avoid a Greek default can be reached."
Negotiations between Greece and its creditors broke down in less than an hour on Sunday, with each side blaming the other's refusal to back down on certain issues.
"They came with their hands in their pockets," a furious EU source close to the negotiations told AFP, while one Greek official described the creditors' demands as "irrational".
With Athens due to repay billions of euros in loans by the end of the month, the latest failure raises the spectre of a default, which could ultimately lead to the country crashing out of the eurozone.