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Europe: Shares hit 6-week high on Greece, Alfa Laval surges


[LONDON] European shares climbed to a six-week high on Thursday after the Greek parliament passed sweeping austerity measures demanded by its lenders to open talks on a new multibillion-euro bailout package to keep Greece in the euro.

Swedish engineering group Alfa Laval rose 10 per cent after posting a bigger than expected rise in second quarter core earnings.

Swiss watchmaker Swatch Group rose 4.8 per cent after saying it was upbeat in its full-year outlook. Its first-half net profit, however, fell nearly 20 per cent on a strong franc and negative interest rates.

The STOXX Europe 600 Automobile and Parts index was up 1.4 per cent, the top sectoral gainer, as demand for mid-market brands and luxury autos pushed growth of new car sales in Europe to the highest monthly rate in five and a half years in June.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.6 per cent at 1,595.01 points by 0710 GMT after touching to 1,595.66, the highest level in more than six weeks.