European markets fall on Greece jitters ahead of IMF payment deadline

 
Emma Haslett
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Juncker and Tsipras met for more negotiations last night (Source: Getty)

European markets opened lower this morning after last-minute talks between European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras failed to reach a conclusion ahead of a crucial deadline on Friday.

The FTSE 100 was down 0.84 per cent in early morning trading, while Germany's Dax fell 0.68 per cent and France's Cac 40 was down more than one per cent.

The euro, meanwhile, tumbled 0.31 per cent against the dollar to $1.1240.

Last night's talks had looked encouraging after reports suggested Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande had reached an agreement with Tsipras over one of the crisis' most crucial sticking points - targets for Greece's primary budget surplus.

Greece desperately needs to agree austerity measures with its lenders to unlock a €7.2bn tranche of bailout money ahead of a deadline for €300m of loan repayments to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday.

However, there were no signs Tsipras, Dijsselbloem and Juncker had reached an agreement after a private dinner last night. Earlier in the day, Tsipras had called on Greece's creditors to show "realism" in negotiations.

This morning, Tsipras tweeted: "Our proposal continues to be the only realistic and constructive proposal. The discussions will continue."

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