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Europe: Stocks advance at open on Greece news

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[LONDON] European stocks rose in opening deals Friday after eurozone chiefs agreed to a bridging loan for Greece and the European Central Bank boosted emergency aid for the nation.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index added 0.02 per cent to 6,798.0 points, Frankfurt's DAX 30 won 0.26 per cent to 11,747.47 points and the CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.34 per cent to 5,138.98 points compared with Thursday's close.

"European equities are trading moderately higher this morning, extending yesterday's rally," said analyst Markus Huber at brokerage Peregrine & Black.

"Investors are increasingly willing to pursue a risk-on approach again, especially as many have been side-lined for several months keeping a close eye on events unfolding surrounding Greece and the eurozone." The ECB on Thursday increased its lifeline to Greece, meaning the country's lenders can open on Monday for the first time in three weeks, while its head, Mario Draghi, threw his weight behind IMF calls for debt relief for Athens.

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The European Commission, the bloc's executive arm, also agreed in theory to grant Greece a three-month seven billion euro bridging loan to keep its economy afloat until its new bailout is ratified.

And eurozone ministers agreed Thursday to start bailout talks, hours after MPs in Athens voted to approve tough reforms demanded by creditors.

AFP

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