European stocks mixed G7 meets under shadow of Greece

GMT 14:43 2015 Thursday ,28 May

Arab Today, arab today European stocks mixed G7 meets under shadow of Greece

European stocks
London - AFP

European equity markets traded mixed on Thursday as G7 finance ministers met under the shadow of the Greek crisis, while Asian equities suffered from volatile swings.

In midday deals, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index of top companies rose 0.17 percent to 7,045.20 points, while Frankfurt's DAX 30 fell 0.24 percent to 11,743, and in Paris, the CAC 40 dipped 0.44 percent to 5,159.60 points compared with Wednesday's close.

The European single currency advanced to $1.0933 from $1.0906 late in New York on Wednesday, when it had touched a one-month nadir of $1.0819 on Greek woes.

Finance ministers and central bank governors of the seven wealthiest nations gathered in Dresden on Thursday to discuss the global economy and tax evasion, but the Greek crisis was also high on everyone's minds.

"European equities are under the strain of continual Greek concerns," said IG analyst David Madden.

"Traders are sick of the non-stop back and forth, and whenever Greece is in crisis talks there is always a series of comments from different parties involved in the negotiations which contradict each other, and traders do not know who to trust.

"For the time being no deal has been reached, and the longer the talks go on without a deal being struck the more likely they are to drop stocks."

- 'The final stretch' -

Athens said Wednesday it was close to a loan deal with its European Union-International Monetary Fund creditors that would unlock badly-needed bailout funds for its struggling economy.

"We are in the final stretch, we are close to an agreement," Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said.

A Greek government source had earlier said technical experts representing Athens and its creditors were to draft the long-awaited agreement in Brussels.

Drafting a staff-level agreement would be the closest that Greece and its creditors have come to a deal to unlock the final 7.2 billion euros ($7.8 billion) of bailout loan money in four months of talks.

The Greek government is running out of cash and may not have enough to repay earlier IMF loans due in a series of payments from June 5.

There are concerns that a Greek default on its payments could trigger a chain of events that could see the country tumbling out of the eurozone.

Germany currently holds the rotating G7 presidency and has been at pains to stress that the Greek crisis is not officially on the agenda in Dresden, where Athens is not represented.

But with all of the other key actors present -- notably IMF chief Christine Lagarde, Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem, European Central Bank head Mario Draghi and EU monetary affairs commissioner Pierre Moscovici -- it would be hard to believe that the subject will not be broached, analysts say.

In turbulent Asian trade on Thursday, Tokyo's Nikkei index climbed for a 10th straight day as the dollar advanced to a 12-year high against the yen, but Shanghai plunged after a more than 15-percent surge in the past eight sessions.

Tokyo rose 0.39 percent to finish at 20,551.46 points, the longest winning streak since a 13-day run in February 1988.

However, Shanghai slumped 6.50 percent on speculation authorities will introduce measures to cool the market's recent rally. Hong Kong meanwhile sank 2.23 percent.


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