European shares are falling, dragged down by banks after Greece and its private creditors failed to come up with an agreement on a debt swap before the start of a European summit focused on growth and the region's debt crisis.
(REUTERS) London - Investors are hoping for a deal to avoid a messy default by Greece, which could cause havoc in the financial system and hit company profits.
There were worries Portugal may follow in Greece's footsteps, with yields continuing to rise in the country. Italian yields also rose as the country, which is also in the forefront of the region's debt crisis, is set to test demand for longer-dated debt later in the session.
Banking stocks, many of which have exposure to euro zone peripheral debt, were the worst performers, with the STOXX Europe 600 Banks index down 2.1 percent.