Global stock markets cautious amid Greek debt talks

Global stocks edge lower on caution over Greece; Lennar jumps after earnings beat estimates

Global stock markets cautious amid Greek debt talks

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. and global stocks headed lower Wednesday as negotiations between Greece and its lenders drag on and it appears the parties are not as close to a deal as originally thought.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones Industrial average was down 60 points, or 0.3 percent, to 18,083 as of 9:50 a.m. Eastern, ending a two-day advance. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost four points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,120 and the Nasdaq composite lost eight points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,152.

GREECE TALKS: Greece and its creditors continue to hold meetings to reach a bailout deal for the country. Greece needs loans in time to pay a debt repayment on June 30. The sides appeared to be moving closer to an agreement this week, but on Wednesday it became clear that some differences remain on what reforms Greece should make in exchange for loans.

German Finance Ministry spokesman Martin Jaeger said his delegation was heading to a meeting on Greece with "realistic expectations" and its impression was that plenty of work remains to be done.

Greek stocks fell 3 percent. In the rest of the eurozone, Germany's DAX fell 0.4 percent, France's CAC 40 fell 0.1 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was up 0.2 percent.

THE QUOTE: "There is no doubt that Greece remains very much in the headlines with focus shifting to the Eurogroup meeting today, ahead of tomorrow's EU leaders' summit. Apart from securing an agreement between Greece and its creditors sometime this week, Greek Prime Minister Tsipras also need to drum up domestic political support for the deal," said Bernard Aw, market strategist with IG in Singapore.

EYES ON FED: Investors also remain focused on when the U.S. Federal Reserve might increase its key interest rate for the first time in nearly a decade. Fed Governor Jerome Powell said at an event on Tuesday that he expects the U.S. central bank to begin raising its benchmark interest rate in September, with a second rate rise coming in December.

The expectations of an interest rate increase rose after a report released Wednesday showed that the U.S. economy contracted less than previously thought in the first three months of the year. The Commerce Department said first quarter GDP fell 0.2 percent, compared with its previous report of a 0.7 percent contraction.

BONDS: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.39 percent from 2.40 percent the day before.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude for August delivery fell 4 cents to $60.97 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract for U.S. crude for July delivery expired at $59.68.

CURRENCIES: The euro edged down to $1.1207 from $1.1217 the day before. The dollar cost 123.86 yen, up slightly from 123.62 yen.

Updated : 2021-04-18 00:48 GMT+08:00