A SECOND bailout deal for Greece failed to lift European markets amid fears the debt-ravaged nation will struggle to implement fresh austerity measures.
The deal sparked worries that Greece will be unable to achieve the public sector pay, pension and jobs cuts as well as find savings from this year’s budget it needs to receive the latest £110bn bailout.
With some saying it was impossible for Greece to deliver its side of the bargain, the FTSE 100 Index, which has rallied recently to seven-month highs on deal hopes, fell 17.1 points to 5928.2.
Germany’s Dax and France’s Cac-40 were also down after recent gains, but the US’s Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly pushed beyond 13000 for the first time since before the financial crisis struck, boosted by strong corporate results.
David Jones, chief market strategist at IG Index, said: "Agreement of the deal was widely expected but the underwhelmed response by markets may also be an air of caution returning because we have been here on a few occasions before, only for any deal to be scuppered."
The pound slipped on currency markets despite the Government’s public finances recording a bigger than expected surplus of £7.8bn in January, up £2.5bn on the previous year.
Sterling was down against the euro at 1.19 after the single currency was strengthened despite concerns over the deal with Greece and was also down against the dollar at 1.58.
The biggest Footsie risers were Vedanta Resources up 95p to 1453p, Admiral ahead 32p at 1043p, ITV up 1.5p at 79.6p, and ICAP ahead 6.2p at 395.8p.
The biggest Footsie fallers were Evraz down 19.7p at 412.7p, Tullow Oil off 58p at 1543p, Polymetal International down 39p at 1045p, and WPP off 17p at 799.5p.