European stocks mixed before Greece talks

GMT 14:34 2015 Friday ,20 February

Arab Today, arab today European stocks mixed before Greece talks

In the streets of Athens, Greeks
London - AFP

European stock markets diverged on Friday as eurozone members prepared for crunch talks with Greece on a renegotiation of the country's bailout terms.
Around midday in the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 index was down 0.41 percent at 10,956.71 points and the CAC 40 in Paris lost 0.51 percent to 4,808.85.
The euro fell to $1.1342 from $1.1365 late in New York on Thursday.
Athens' main stocks index was meanwhile up by 0.74 percent compared with Thursday's close.
In London, the benchmark FTSE 100 rose 0.19 percent to 6,902.26 points as investors reacted to mixed economic data in non-eurozone member Britain.
"The eurozone equity market is being held back by the developments in Greece and will remain offside until a deal is brokered," said David Madden, market analyst at IG trading group.
Finance ministers from the eurozone's 19 member countries will meet in Brussels on Friday to consider a proposal by Athens to extend its European loan programme, which expires at the end of the month.
Germany has firmly dismissed the request by Athens for a six-month extension to its EU loan programme, stoking doubt about whether the different sides can find a quick solution to an increasingly embittered debt row, and avoid a potentially catastrophic exit by Greece from the euro.
A key survey published Friday ahead of the talks showed that eurozone business activity hit a seven-month high in February, extending gains despite concerns over the Greek debt crisis as the economy recovers from a soft patch.
Markit Economics said its Composite Purchasing Managers Output Index (PMI) for the 19-nation single currency bloc jumped to 53.5 points from 52.6 in January, putting it well above the 50-points boom or bust line.
Europe's main stock markets had mainly risen on Thursday with Frankfurt hitting a new record close amid hopes of a resolution to the Greek debt row, while London's exchange, featuring heavyweight energy companies, was dragged down by concerns over falling oil prices.
Frankfurt's benchmark DAX 30 index of leading companies closed at a record 11,001.94, while the CAC 40 reached its highest level since June 2008. The FTSE also reached 15-year peaks this week.
"Ending the current impasse (over Greece) is essential if the FTSE 100 is to make new highs," said Mike McCudden, head of derivatives at stockbroker Interactive Investor.
"Either way, we are reaching an inflection point where the leading index could break above long-term resistance and rally sharply, or fall like a stone if the market prices in Greece's exit from the eurozone, however improbable."


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