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Europe Stock-Index Futures Decline as Greek Debt-Swap Deadline Approaches

Published: March 6, 2012 | 8:04 am
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European (SXXP) stock futures fell as investors awaited details of private-creditor participation in Greece’s debt restructuring and a report that may confirm a contraction in the region’s growth. U.S. index futures and Asian shares fell.

Futures on the Euro Stoxx 50 Index, a benchmark for the euro region, dropped 0.3 percent to 2,525 at 7:03 a.m. in London. The contract on the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index lost 0.2 percent. Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) expiring this month retreated 0.3 percent. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 1.1 percent.

“Uncertainty over the Greek private-sector debt swap is likely to weigh on markets today as traders remain cautious ahead of the announcement,” Jonathan Sudaria, a trader at Capital Spreads, wrote in a note.
The investors that so far declared their participation in the restructuring hold about 20 percent of Greek bonds. The 12 members of the creditors’ steering committee that said they would join in the exchange have debt with a face value of at least 40 billion euros ($53 billion), compared with the 206 billion euros of bonds in private hands, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The goal of the swap, which runs until March 8, is to reduce by 53.5 percent the total of privately held Greek sovereign debt, helping the country avert an uncontrolled default.

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