Sun, Jun 21, 2015 - Page 15 News List

European equities pare losses on Greek optimism

STILL TALKING:The STOXX Europe 600 recovered on Thursday, as the ECB increased maximum emergency funding to Greek lenders and fears of a contagion eased


European stocks climbed on Friday, amid optimism a resolution to Greek debt talks was close and that the fallout of a potential exit from the euro would be contained. However, the equity gauge still closed down 1 percent this week.

The STOXX Europe 600 Index added 0.4 percent to 385.59 at the close of trading on Friday, paring gains of as much as 1.2 percent.

Greece’s ASE Index rose 0.6 percent on Friday, after earlier adding as much as 2.6 percent, as the European Central Bank (ECB) increased the maximum amount of emergency funding available to Greek lenders.

The benchmark indices of Italy and Ireland rose at least 1.1 percent for the biggest advances in western European markets.

The STOXX 600 reached its lowest level since February on Monday, as talks between Greece and its creditors deteriorated. However, with fears of contagion easing, the benchmark index of European equities reversed losses on Thursday. Greek stocks account for less than 0.1 percent of the STOXX 600.

“Everybody realizes we’re getting close to some sort of resolution,” said Philippe Gijsels, chief strategy officer at BNP Paribas Fortis in Brussels.

“No compromise may mean exit or default, but you have some sort of resolution. Lots of people in the market are ready to buy the dip, and many are buying before the actual event. If you look at Greece, it is a small part of the eurozone. There is some debt, but it is manageable and you also still have the ECB bazooka,” he said.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said he was confident a deal on his country’s finances can be reached at an emergency summit of European leaders tomorrow. The ECB held its own emergency session on Friday.

The expiration of some futures and options on stock and indexes, known as quadruple witching, added to market volatility on Friday.

Fifteen of the 19 industry groups in the STOXX 600 climbed, with travel companies and banks gaining at least 1 percent.

Colt Group SA jumped 20 percent after Fidelity offered to buy the shares it does not already own in the UK business communications provider.

Valeo SA climbed 4.2 percent after the French manufacturer of auto parts announced it bought a 10.5 percent stake in Aledia, which makes LEDs.

Banco BPI SA fell 9.1 percent after CaixaBank SA withdrew its offer for the Portuguese lender as its shareholders rejected a key condition. CaixaBank rose 0.8 percent.

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