Business

Shares slump on Greece fears

SHARES tumbled today as investors grew increasingly anxious over the prospect of Greece running out of cash, with the eurozone country facing more debt repayments by the end of the week.

Prime minister Alexis Tsipras said agreement was in sight with creditors on talks to unlock crucial bail-out money, but time is pressing with a 300 million (220m) instalment due to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday.

Shares fell across the board on London's top-flight with only a couple of stocks posting gains as the FTSE 100 Index dropped 101.6 points to 6848.9.

Tony Cross, market analyst at Trustnet Direct, said: "The sell-off is looking incredibly broad-based.

"With it now as good as inevitable that Greece will fail to make the 300m payment to the IMF that falls due tomorrow, the focus does appear to be on taking some money off the table."

Among the fallers were Johnson Matthey despite the chemicals and technology firm reporting a 22 per cent rise in annual pre-tax profits to 495.8m for the year to the end of March.

The firm was boosted by demand for autocatalysts for motor vehicles thanks to tighter European emissions legislation. But investors took profits, sending shares 3 per cent, or 103p lower, to 3413p.

Among just three risers was low-cost airline easyJet, after May traffic statistics showed passenger numbers up 7.2 per cent on a year before to 6.49 million. Shares rose 8.5p to 1590.5p.

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