In Europe the Dutch finance minister acknowledged Greece was under pressure to find the cash to pay upcoming debt commitments. With talks between finance experts from Athens and its international creditors would start on Wednesday with the aim of releasing further funding for Greece. However the new left-wing Greek government is keen to show voters it is keeping election promises to break with EU-imposed austerity.
These diverging views between Greece and Eurozone creditors could further destabilise Greece and the Eurozone with the uncertainty pushing the Euro to 8 year lows against the Pound and US dollar overnight.
The Dutch Minister added that if Greece showed it was implementing some of the austerity measures, then some funds could be released before the planned review concludes next month. With Greece being shut out of capital markets, international loans frozen and tax revenues falling, Greece could run out of cash later this month. However, a Greek official said Athens has enough to pay the second of four 310 million-euro loan instalments due to the IMF on March 13. Two more are due on March 16 and 20.
According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) UK retail sales increased 0.2% on a like-for-like basis compared with February 2014. And overall sales were up 1.7%. After the busy period associated with Christmas it is good for the UK economy that retail sales growth is still strong and consumers are still spending their money.
GBP - 14:35 - Bank of England Governor Mark Carney makes a speech
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