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UK Market Moderately Lower

5/9/2012 7:10 AM ET

The UK market fell in afternoon trading Wednesday, as concerns remained about the political deadlock in Greece.

Greece is facing a political impasse after voters turned down the parties that accepted the international bailout terms in the Sunday elections. Alexis Tsipras, the leader of Greece's left-wing Syriza bloc, said on Tuesday the vote had "clearly nullified" the EU/IMF loan agreement.

Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe warned against renegotiating the fiscal compact and said such a move could unleash market turbulence. The current situation in Greece is extremely "difficult and tense," reports said citing his interview to Europe 1 radio.

The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is losing 1.13 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is falling 0.95 percent.

The FTSE 100 index is currently losing 0.74 percent.

Oil companies were hit by lower crude prices. Tullow Oil is falling 3.1 percent. Royal Dutch Shell is losing 1.2 percent and BP is declining 1.5 percent.

Royal Bank of Scotland is falling 2.4 percent. Lloyds Banking is losing 1.6 percent.

Weir Group is declining 6.1 percent after a trading update.

Sage Group is declining 4.8 percent after reporting financial results.

Aberdeen Asset Management is declining 3.8 percent.

BT Group is climbing 2.6 percent. ITV is gaining about 3 percent and Glencore International is falling 2 percent.

Sainsbury is advancing 1.3 percent. The grocer's underlying pre-tax profit rose on higher sales and the company also increased its full year dividend.

Man Group is climbing 2.2 percent.

Elsewhere in Europe, the German DAX is losing 0.34 percent and the French CAC 40 is losing 0.81 percent. Switzerland's SMI is dropping 0.85 percent.

In economic news, Germany's exports grew unexpectedly in March, boosting trade surplus above expectations. Both exports and imports reached record monthly levels in March, signaling that the biggest eurozone economy is showing some resilience despite the sovereign debt crisis in the 17-nation bloc.

Trade surplus was 17.4 billion euros in March compared to a 14.9 billion euros surplus in February. Economists had expected a more modest increase in surplus to 14.3 billion euros. Exports rose 0.9 percent month-over-month, while imports increased by 1.2 percent.

Worries concerning Greece weighed on Asia/Pacific too. Among major markets, Australia's All Ordinaries lost 1 percent, China's Shanghai Composite Index retreated 1.7 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 0.8 percent. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index declined 1.5 percent.

In the U.S., futures point to a lower open on Wall Street. In the previous session, the major averages ended the session well off their worst levels but remained stuck in the red as uncertainty about the political situation in Europe continued to weigh on the markets. The Dow fell 0.6 percent, the Nasdaq dropped 0.4 percent and the S&P 500 slipped 0.4 percent.

In the commodity space, crude for June delivery is sliding $0.59 to $96.42 per barrel and June gold is dropping $21.2 to $1583.3 a troy ounce.

by RTT Staff Writer

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