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US stocks join European equities lower on Greece fears


[NEW YORK] US stocks followed European equities sharply lower in opening trade Friday as worries about Greece's talks with creditors hung over markets.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 17,968.80, down 136.97 points (0.76 per cent).

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 12.10 (0.57 per cent) to 2,092.89, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 37.09 (0.74 per cent) to 4,970.70.

Negotiations between Greece and international creditors will resume Saturday in Brussels on reform requirements Athens needs to meet to receive its last payment of its bailout funds, the European Union said.

In Washington, top European officials were on Thursday forced to play down fears that the country was poised to exit the eurozone, after the IMF rejected suggestions that Athens could postpone its IMF loan repayment.