Greece’s deepening debt crisis prompted bankers to pause, but not panic, on Monday. As David Pollard reports, euro zone stocks remained well ahead of where they were at the start of the year and while government borrowing costs shot up in Europe’s indebted southern countries they remained well below the heights scaled at the peak of the crisis in 2011/2012.
Markets fall but no Greek panic yet
There in black and white: a simple YES/NO choice on Greece’s future.
And, you could argue, the euro zone’s.
This is a draft ballot paper for next Sunday’s referendum on whether to accept a debt deal with creditors.
A vote some think might not happen – though this does appear a strong signal from Athens that it will.
If that’s a worrying glimpse of the future, could this be too?
With Europe at one point registering some of the biggest share losses in four years, screens at the Athens exchange stayed blank.
Like its banks, the Greek market shut for business.
Although eventually cash machines reopened – albeit limited to 60 euros per person.
Nick Parsons of National Australia Bank.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) NICK PARSONS, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK, SAYING:
”The impact of capital controls will be felt progressively through this week … One would imagine that the basic staples such as fuel and food could potentially be in quite short supply by the end of this week, and it’s that point that the perceptions of the general population, of all those who are going to vote, are subject to change.”
Market perceptions may have changed by then too.
Despite the slide in shares, traders now still talking of worry, not panic.
The rise in bond yields in Italy, Spain and Portugal – those seen as most vulnerable to spillover – was sharp.
But not matching moves seen in May when investors raised their inflation expectations.
And the euro regained some of its overnight losses.
Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy.
(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SPANISH PRIME MINISTER MARIANO RAJOY SAYING:
“Spaniards can rest easy because with their effort, dedication, work and understanding, they have supported the reforms that have allowed us to be at ease at this time.”
And the opportunity is still there for Greece to still do a deal, says Germany’s Angela Merkel.
(SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING:
“We made clear today that if the Greek government seeks more talks after the referendum we will of course not say no to such negotiations.”
One London bookmaker is offering a two-in-three chance that Greece will settle with its creditors.
And as a traditional barometer of trouble ahead, gold markets appear to agree.
Rising close to a one-week high in early trading – but then giving up some of those gains.