European stock markets rise with eyes on US, Greece

GMT 11:39 2015 Wednesday ,05 August

Arab Today, arab today European stock markets rise with eyes on US, Greece

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index
London - AFP

Europe's main stock markets rose on Wednesday, with all eyes on the US economy and interest-rate outlook for the world's biggest economy.

Investors were also acting upon developments over Greece and China, analysts said.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index gained 0.19 percent to stand at 6,699.15 points approaching midday in the capital.

Eurozone indices performed better, with Frankfurt's DAX 30 climbing 1.22 percent to 11,596.13 points and the CAC 40 in Paris up 1.15 percent to 5,170.84 compared with Tuesday's close.

The euro fell to $1.0859 from $1.0882 late in New York on Tuesday.

And Greek's main stocks index was nearly 4.0 percent down in afternoon deals, with banking shares taking a battering for a third day running.

Athens trading resumed on Monday, five weeks after the government imposed capital controls to prevent a bank run and stave off financial collapse at the height of its standoff with EU-IMF creditors over a new bailout.

The ATHEX index finished Tuesday down 1.22 percent after suffering its steepest ever fall of 16.32 percent on Monday.

The Greek government and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker have meanwhile expressed hope that debt-crippled Greece and its creditors will reach a deal on a new rescue package in time for August 20, when it is due to pay the European Central Bank 3.4 billion euros.

"All the reports I am getting suggest an accord this month, preferably before the 20th," Juncker told AFP in an interview on Wednesday.

Asian markets were mixed Wednesday, buoyed by a possible US interest rate hike even as China's ability to stem a recent market rout weighed on sentiment.

The dollar advanced against other major currencies after Fed Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart told The Wall Street Journal in comments published this week that he supports lifting rates in September barring an unexpected downturn in the world's top economy.

"The US dollar has continued to strengthen... following more hawkish rhetoric from a Fed official which has resulted in the market discounting a higher probability of a rate hike in September," said Lee Hardman, currency analyst at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.

Wall Street indices meanwhile finished lower Tuesday following a mixed batch of earnings reports and another big decline by technology giant Apple.

"US markets edged lower, with many on the sidelines ahead of Friday’s US labour market update, and held back by uncharacteristically hawkish comments from Atlanta Fed President Lockhart who said that the Fed is 'close' and it would take a significant deterioration in US economic health for him not to support a rate rise from record lows next month," Accendo Markets said in a note to clients.

"Persistent weakness in Apple also continues to dent confidence."

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