US shares traded lower today (May 12th) on ongoing worries over Greece's situation as it struggles to reach an agreement with its European creditors on bailout terms.
The S&P 500 was down 0.6 per cent to 2,091.45 at 09:48 ET this morning in New York. The Nasdaq edged down 0.7 per cent to 4,956.59 and the Jones lost 0.9 per cent to 17,941.95.
Sentiment was also affected by a global bond sell-off, with ten-year US Treasury yields hitting their highest since early December, which according to analysts could in turn raise corporate borrowing costs and hit shares globally.
Greece taps into emergency account
Greece's finance minister Yanis Varoufakis attended a meeting yesterday in Brussels to discuss the final €7.2 billion (£5.2 billion) tranche of Greece's €240 billion EU/IMF bailout. He said that his country's financial situation is "terribly urgent" and the crisis could come to a head in a couple of weeks.
"A failure to resolve the Greek funding crisis is adding to the pressure on local shares," Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets, said in a commentary seen by AP. "While the rest of the world is now largely economically insulated from Greece, risks remain."
Today, it emerged that Greece was forced to tap into an emergency account to make a €750 million debt interest payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), one day ahead of the deadline.
Greece is believed to have borrowed €650 million from its IMF holding account to meet the debt interest payment. It also used €100 million of its cash reserves to make the full payment on its IMF bailout loan interest, an official said.
The Greek government said it will not make concessions in negotiations with creditors – instead, it will stick to the "red line" promises made to the electorate. The crisis has raised the prospect that Greece might default on its debts and leave the euro.
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