Friday 19 January 2018

Markets fall ahead of key European summit tomorrow

Peter Cripps and Jamie Grierson

SIGNS that the eurozone rescue plan looked to be in jeopardy weighed on the markets today as reports emerged that member countries are struggling to reach an agreement.

Politicians are understood to be at loggerheads about how to boost the €440b bailout fund to over €1 trillion casting doubt over whether the rescue plan would be agreed tomorrow as previously expected.

The FTSE 100 Index surrendered earlier gains and fell 46.6 points to 5,501.6 on news that tomorrow's meeting of finance ministers has been cancelled in a further sign of discord.

However, a meeting of heads of state is expected to go ahead as planned.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average in the US was down 0.7pc.

World markets have pushed cautiously ahead in recent days amid reports that a weekend meeting of eurozone leaders had made progress towards making an agreement.

It is understood they had agreed in principle to a €108bn plan to recapitalise the region's banks but other key decisions about boosting the bailout fund and writing off more of Greece's debt were expected at a further meeting tomorrow.

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