FTSE 100 CLOSE: Only Hargreaves and BSkyB rise after Greek default fears

Stocks have retreated sharply after investors became worried about the state of Greece’s debt swap deal later in the week and doubts emerged about global growth.

The FTSE 100 ended the session 109.02 points down at 5,765.80, driven by falls in resources stocks and financials. Only two members of the blue-chip index ended the day ahead.

Precious metals producer Polymetal International led the day’s fallers, dropping 6.35% to 951.5p. Steel manufacturer Evraz fell 6.22% to 380p and bank Barclays eased 5.54% to 238.9p. Essar Energy went down 5.14% to 101.6p, while dealer/broker ICAP retreated 5.06% to 380.6p.

Financial services firm Hargreaves Lansdown and broadcaster BSkyB were the only stocks to rise today. Hargreaves closed 3.1% ahead at 459.1p and BSkyB gained just 0.07% to hit 683.5p.

Sentiment was damaged by renewed fears that Greece and its private bondholders will fail to meet the March 8 deadline for completing the debt swap needed to avert a default. (article continues below)

The International Institute of Finance, which represents a number of the bondholders, warned that a Greek default could cost the eurozone more than €1 trillion (£830 billion).

In addition, investors have fresh concerns about the health of the global economy after China cut its growth forecast, Brazilian expansion slowed and the eurozone moved closer to technical recession.