Eurozone troubles hit markets

European stock markets got off to a bad start this morning, threatening a fourth straight day of losses. There was capital flight out of equities, euros, commodities and commodity-linked currencies. The French CAC was down 1.2 per cent, the Spanish IBEX down 1.5 per cent and the Italian FTSE MIB down 1.4 per cent.

Troubles in Greece are also disconcerting investors. The country is currently in the midst of a general strike (including media) in protest at the government’s shutting down of state broadcaster ERT, resulting in the loss of nearly 2,700 jobs. The strike began at midnight (21:00 GMT) and was intended to go on for 24 hours with further protests scheduled.

Greek opposition leader Alexis Tsipras described the closure as illegal, and threatened that a coup is not off the cards. Prime Minister Antonis Samaris stands by the closure.

The ECB is about to release its monthly report, detailing the economic situation and current risks to price stability.