European Stocks Fall Hard as Greek Debt Deal Seems Out of Reach; Banks Drop

LONDON (TheDeal) -- Global markets were in turmoil Monday morning as they took their first opportunity to react to Friday night's decision by the Greek government to call a referendum on the austerity measures demanded by the country's creditors and Sunday's announcements of capital controls.

Greeks will be able to withdraw a maximum of just €60 a day from bank machines, and the country's banks themselves will remain shuttered for a week, while the European Central Bank has stopped emergency funding for Greek banks.

The referendum is being seen as a poll on staying in the euro or crashing out. It will take place next weekend -- days after the country's official bailout program runs out and a €1.5 billion ($1.66 billion) loan repayment to the International Monetary Fund falls due.

Despite a reported request by the Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, to request a deadline extension from eurozone governments, there is no guarantee that the final offer from creditors -- which the Greek government said it cannot accept -- will still be on the table.

The euro is down sharply against the dollar. Bond yields for southern European countries are being driven up as investors seek havens such as German bunds. And the stock markets are all down sharply. The FTSE 100 is down 1.63% at 6,643. Germany's DAX is down 3.31% at 11,111.52. In Paris, the CAC 40 is down 3.29% at 4,892.71.

In the eurozone, the biggest fallers were banks such as Germany's Deutsche Bank (DB), down 5.12% at €27.355, and Commerzbank  (CRZBY) down 4.19% at €11.65. In France. Crédit Agricole (CRARY) which has a relatively large exposure to Greek banks, was down 4.42% at €13.51.

But in London, which is outside the eurozone, some of the biggest fallers were travel companies and airlines. The stocks were hurt by the terrorist attack in Tunisia over the weekend, which left at least 30 Britons dead. The top faller was Anglo-German travel group TUI (TUIFY) down 7.01% at 1,035 pence, while British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines (ICAGY) was down 2.82% at 500 pence. Also down was London-listed Greek bottling company Coca-Cola HBC (CCHGY), which was down 2.66% at 1,391 pence.

China's already volatile indices officially entered bear market territory, although that clearly had domestic causes in addition to worries about far-off Greece. The People's Bank of China over the weekend cut benchmark interest rates by 25 basis points to 4.85% -- a record low. It also cut the minimum reserves that major banks are required to hold. But both the main Shanghai Composite and Shenzhen indices compounded last week's falls. The Shanghai Composite finished the day down 3.34% at 4,053.03, after opening up and then plummeting to an intra-day low of below 3,875.05. The tech-heavy Shenzhen composite closed down 6.05% at 151,552.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 closed down 2.88% at 20,109.95. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng was down 2.61% at 25,966.98. In Australia, the ASX 200 was down 2.23% at 5,422.49.

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