LONDON — Europe’s major stock markets retreated in mid-morning trading amid increased uncertainty about the future of Greece within the euro zone.
Milan’s FTSE MIB fell 1.7 percent, followed by Frankfurt’s DAX, which tumbled 1.6 percent. Paris’ CAC 40 retreated 0.9 percent, while London’s FTSE 100 sank 0.8 percent at 10:00 am CET.
Retail and luxury stocks were mostly down, with the biggest losers including Asos.com, which fell 4.5 percent; Hugo Boss, which tumbled 4.2 percent; and Mulberry Group, which sank 2.9 percent.
Among the few stocks that rallied in mid-morning were French Connection, which was up 3.4 percent, and Italy’s Safilo Group, which climbed 1.8 percent.
Greece’s government was thrown into chaos earlier this week after the prime minister George Papandreou unexpectedly announced a referendum on the latest European Union bailout measures.
EU leaders and financial experts believe a “No” vote by the Greek people would most likely lead to a disorderly default by Greece, and its exit from the euro zone. A default would inflict severe damage on markets and economies in Europe and the U.S.