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Europe: Stocks mixed at open

World stocks and commodity prices tumbled on Tuesday, as poor Chinese data saw fears about its economic health intensify.

[LONDON] Europe's main stock markets were mixed at the start of trading on Friday with all eyes on Greece heading into another key meeting on its bailout.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index fell 0.18 per cent to 6,695.95 points compared with Thursday's close.

In Frankfurt, the DAX 30 won 0.19 per cent to 11,121.30 points and the CAC 40 in Paris grew in value by 0.09 per cent to 4,807.58.

"As we head into what could be a very interesting weekend for Greece, investors appear surprisingly calm," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda trading group.

"Of course, there have been significant declines in European indices over the last few weeks as negotiations have gone from bad to worse so much of this has already been priced in."

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Greece is working to make a emergency eurozone summit on Monday a "success," its government said, as time runs out for Athens and its creditors to reach a deal on its international bailout and avoid default.

Investors brushed off increasing worries about Greece's future in the eurozone after talks between the bloc's Eurogroup of finance ministers fell apart Thursday.

The meeting in Luxembourg aimed at breaking the five-month-old standoff was the latest failure to reach a compromise and leaves Athens with less than two weeks to unlock billions of euros in bailout funds to service its debts.

With Greece unwilling to agree to some austerity terms and creditors also not backing down, the country could end up defaulting, which could then lead to it leaving the eurozone.

Asian stock markets meanwhile mostly rose Friday, following a record lead from Wall Street, while the euro continued to defy mounting fears Greece would default.

New York's three main indices rallied on Thursday, with analysts attributing the gains mostly to the pledge this week from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen that the US central bank will only gradually raise interest rates.

The comments eased worries about a sharp rise in borrowing rates in the world's top economy and key driver of global growth.


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