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Jun 22, 2015 8:18 AM

Greek breakthrough hopes help global markets to surge

The Associated Press

LONDON (AP) Hopes of a breakthrough in Greece's bailout discussions with international creditors despite few visible signs of progress helped stock markets around the world, particularly in Europe, surge on Monday.

KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, Germany's DAX spiked 2.9 percent to 11,356 while the CAC-40 in France rose 2.7 percent to 4,947. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 1.2 percent higher at 6,788. The biggest gainer was the main stock market in Athens which was trading a hefty 6.8 percent higher. Wall Street was poised for a solid opening too with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures 0.8 percent higher.

GREECE IS THE WORD: It's all about Greece in financial markets as the country tries to strike a deal with creditors in Brussels that will help it avoid a messy debt default and a potential exit from the euro. Finance ministers from the 19-country eurozone are meeting in an attempt to thrash out a deal ahead of the leaders' summit later.

So far, the mood music is at best mixed. Though some officials have hinted at progress being made, others have sought to douse talk that an agreement is imminent.

Time is of the essence as Greece has a near 1.6 billion-euro loan repayment to make to the International Monetary Fund next week. If it doesn't agree a deal that will see the release of bailout funds, it's unlikely it will be able to triggering a chain of events that could see Greece leave the euro and derail the global economic recovery.

ANALYST TAKE: "Financial markets are starting the week in the hopeful belief that a 'last minute' deal between the Greek government and its official creditors can be achieved," said Neil MacKinnon, global macro strategist at VTB Capital. "However, trading Greek newsflow 'headlines' can be a dangerous game."

ASIA'S DAY: The optimism started earlier during Asian trading hours. Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 1.1 percent to 20,428.19 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.2 percent to 27,080.85. South Korea's Kospi added 0.4 percent to 2,055.16. However, China's financial markets were closed for a national holiday after a tumble Friday when the Shanghai Composite dived 6.4 percent, taking it 13 percent lower for the week after more than doubling in the past year.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 40 cents to $60.01 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oil used by many U.S. refineries, gained 55 cents to $63.57 a barrel after falling $1.24 to $63.02 a barrel on Friday.

CURRENCIES: Foreign exchange markets were less frothy than stock markets. The euro was down 0.1 percent at $1.1341 while the dollar rose 0.4 percent to 123.23 yen.


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