Equities Fall on Break-Down in Greece Talks

U.S. stock futures and the euro tumbled in early Asian trade on Tuesday after talks between Greece and euro zone finance ministers broke down when Athens rejected a proposal to request a six-month extension of its international bailout program.  U.S. stock futures fell to ESc1 $2,082, about 0.8 percent below its levels on Monday just before the news of euro zone finance ministers’ meeting hit the wire.

Australian shares slumped 0.6 percent .AXJO, dragging down MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS 0.2 percent. The Nikkei futures also pointed to a lower open for Japanese stocks.  The euro dipped to $1.1345 EUR= from Monday’s high of $1.14295, though the currency kept some distance from last week’s low of $1.1270 and its 11-year trough of $1.1098 hit on Jan. 26.

Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who chaired the meeting, said Athens had until Friday to request an extension, otherwise the bailout would expire at the end of the month.  Without support from creditors, the Greek government and banks would face a looming euro cash crunch, possibly opening the way for Greece to become the first country to ditch the common currency altogether and re-introduce its own currency.


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