The IMF says 'no progress' is being made on its 'major differences' with the Greek government

Christine Lagarde REUTERS/Kevin LamarqueInternational Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde speaks about the global economy at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington April 2, 2014.

Just when it looked like there might be some positive news coming out of Greece, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has gone ahead and poured a huge bucket of cold water over those hopes.

According to Bloomberg the IMF negotiating team is leaving Brussels, and the Fund’s spokesman was extremely negative:

“The ball is very much in Greece’s court,” International Monetary Fund spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters at a media briefing in Washington on Thursday. “There are major differences between us in most key areas. There has been no progress in narrowing these differences recently,” he said.

That follows a monster day for the Athens Stock Exchange, with equities surging, and closing up 8.16%.

After an evening meeting between Germany’s Angela Merkel, France’s Francois Hollande and Greece’s Alexis Tsipras, there were some slim hopes for a deal by the time of the June 18 Eurogroup meeting. Athens needs to unlock billions of euros in bailout cash to keep itself funded — it has major payments to make to the IMF and other creditors that it is extremely likely to be able to afford on its own.

At least some of that relief rally is almost certain to be rolled back tomorrow, based on the IMF’s stance:

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