Shares drop on Greece uncertainty, rate hike anticipation

Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:54pm EDT
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By Sinead Carew

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A setback in Greek debt talks pushed U.S. and European shares lower on Friday, along with investor views that positive U.S. data may accelerate the timing for a hike in interest rates.

Oil prices fell on concerns production may rise further.

The International Monetary Fund delegation left Greek debt negotiations on Friday because of "major differences" with Athens on the same day that EU officials held their first formal talks on the possibility of Greece defaulting.

"It's largely the Greek situation again, and that's been played out on a day-to-day basis where you had a huge rally followed by a decline predicated on whether they are coming closer or moving further from a resolution," said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia.

However, the darkening Greek outlook failed to fluster Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who holed up with his negotiators after proclaiming optimism at an open air concert.

The euro inched higher against the dollar after Tsipras'comments even though equity and bond investors were skeptical.

"You have to question whether (the Greeks are) looking at reality," said Janna Sampson, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.

U.S. Treasuries prices ended little changed, with longer-dated yields holding below seven-month highs as concerns about a Greek default supported safety demand for bonds ahead of a Federal Reserve policy meeting next week.   Continued...

Electronic information boards display market information at the London Stock Exchange in the City of London January 2, 2013.  REUTERS/Paul Hackett