London Stocks Close Higher; Greek Hopes Help
FTSE 100 ends up 1.2% at 5859.73 as investors become increasingly convinced that there will be a high participation rate in the Greek debt swap. Indeed, the latest from a Greek official is that the Greek bond swap is on track to exceed expectations according. Meanwhile, earnings news has been well received overall. Wm. Morrison ends up 1.7% and Aviva 1.6% higher following their results. The Greek debt swap results are expected at 0600 GMT Friday. UK industrial production is expected at 0930 GMT and US nonfarm payrolls data are also expected Friday, at 1330 GMT.
Frankfurt Stocks Close Higher
DAX closes 2.5% higher at 6834.54, amid rising optimism about a successful Greek debt restructuring, traders say. The participation rate will surpass 75%, a government official told Dow Jones Newswires. Additionally, some equities investors may have used the lower levels earlier this week to enter the market, an analyst adds. Deutsche Post is up 5.7% after proposing a surprisingly high dividend for 2011. Henkel up 4.7% after confirming its 2012 guidance. Friday, markets will eye any news from a euro-zone finance ministers conference call. Macroeconomic data releases include Germany’s manufacturing turnover and CPI at 0700 GMT. In company news, Linde reports earnings at 0630 GMT.
Paris Stocks Closes With Big Upside Gap
CAC-40 closes 2.5% higher at 3478.36 on optimism that a majority of private sector holders of Greek bonds will accept the debt swap. A Greek government official told Dow Jones Newswires late Thursday that the private-sector participation rate in its planned EUR200 billion debt restructuring program has surpassed 75%. The government will announce the level of take-up early Friday. As for French stocks, EADS shares are 11% higher after the company said 2011 4Q net profit doubled to EUR612 million. EADS also said it would double its dividend to EUR0.45 per share. BNP Paribas is up 3.7%. Off CAC-40, Air France shares fall 0.3% after it posted a bigger-than-expected net loss.
Amsterdam Stocks Close Strong
AEX gained 1.7% to 235.11 by the close as markets anticipate a successful resolution of the Greek debt swap deal. ING gains 4.6% and just three of the 25 AEX shares end in the red, among them Air France-KLM, which loses 0.3% after posting a higher than expected loss for the fourth quarter and giving a downbeat outlook for current 2012. Friday, markets will focus on the outcome of the Greek debt swap deal which will published at 0600 GMT and US nonfarm payrolls at 1330 GMT.
Zurich Stocks Close Firm
SMI closes 0.8% higher at 6153.93 driven by optimism that Greece will complete its debt-swap deal with private creditors by tonight’s deadline. “It’s the opposite situation to yesterday; then everyone was a bit bearish, but today they’ve changed their mind,” says a trader. Luxury companies Swatch Group and Richemont are the main gainers, up 3.3% and 2.4% respectively, also buoyed by positive forecasts for the watch industry from the Baselworld trade show. Credit Suisse gains, up 3.2%, while Adecco rises 2.6%. Swisscom and Synthes are the only two stocks on the index to fall.
Nordic Stocks Close Higher
Nordic equity markets close higher in a rebound from losses earlier in the week amid optimism that Greece will be successful in restructuring its debt and avoid default. The country’s private sector creditors have till late Thursday to decide on whether or not to agree to a debt swap and write-down pact. OMXN40 ends 2.5% higher at 1010.84 while OBX closes 1.9% higher at 391.65. Scania and SKF end up 6.9% and 5.9% respectively as increased appetite for risk lifts cyclical stocks.
Madrid Stocks Close Higher
IBEX-35 closes 1.8% higher at 8307.4, mirroring gains in global equity markets on hopes for a successful outcome of the private sector part of Greece’s debt restructuring, which closes this evening. Banks lead the best performers and most active titles. BBVA jumps 3.4% after winning the bid for nationalized bank Unnim. Santander adds 2.9%. Investors are expected to monitor details of the Greek bond exchange, with the offer expiring late Thursday and official results to be announced at 0600 GMT early Friday.
Athens Stocks Close Sharply Higher
ASE closes 3.2% higher at 768.90 on moderate turnover of EUR63.5M. Across-the-board gains push the broader market higher in line with gains in other European bourses, on optimism that Greece will complete a debt restructuring plan. “The market seems to be partially discounting this. Until we see final figures on the debt swap, I am still cautious about the outcome,” says a broker. Private sector creditors have until Thursday evening to announce whether they will participate in the debt swap. Banking stocks up 2.5% as the blue chip index advances 2.8%. Coca Cola Hellenic gains 7.6%, while OPAP rises 3.6% and Alpha Bank is 5.1% higher.
Prague Stocks Close Moderately Higher
PX is closes 0.6% higher at 996.5 led by financial stocks as they continue rebound from losses earlier in the week. Erste Group Bank and Komercni Banka end up 2% and 1.6%, respectively. With US markets trading strong, the local recovery may continue Friday, some traders say. Other Czech blue chips are mixed with CEZ ending down 1.1%, Telefonica Czech up 0.8% and Fortuna Entertainment ending down 0.5%.
StockMarketNews Research Team