European equities finished higher after touching a seven-year high

23.02.2015 21:32
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Europe ends higher after hitting record; HSBC down 5%

Jenny Cosgrave | Matt Clinch | Holly Ellyatt

European equities finished higher on Monday, after touching a seven-year high, as investors cheered a deal to extend Greece’s bailout program by four months.

Greek deal reached


FTSE FTSE 100 Index 6912.16
-3.04 -0.04% 701861370
DAX DAX Index 11130.92
80.28 0.73% 76625541
CAC 40 CAC 40 Index 4862.30
31.40 0.65% 105286617
IBEX 35 IBEX 35 Idx 10990.10
110.80 1.02% 272017207


The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 closed up 0.6 percent at 1,533, after touching its highest level since 2008 earlier in the session. The German DAX also hit a new record high on Monday morning as investors welcomes the news from Greece Friday evening.

Greece’s left-wing government, led by Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras, was given a lifeline when the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers reached a deal to extend the country’s bailout by four months. To secure the financial lifeline, however, Greece must present a list of reform proposals – expended Monday or Tuesday.

Some in Greece have accused the new government of back-tracking from election promises to scrap the country’s bailout, overseen by the European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund and European Commission. The Athens stock exchange was closed on Monday.

On the data front, Germany’s widely-watched Ifo Index showed that business confidence in the country rose once again in February. It missed analyst analyst expectations, however, and the euro currency weakened as a result.

Ukraine explosion

HSBC shares fell as much as 5 percent on Monday following its full-year earnings. The bank reported pre-tax profit down 17 percent to $18.7 billion, amid scrutiny following allegations that its Swiss private bank helped some clients to evade tax. The FTSE 100 fell on the news after nearing its all-time peak at the session open and closed 0.2 percent lower. HSBC closed down 4.6 percent.

U.S. stocks pulled back slightly from Friday’s highs to trade lower Monday, in anticipation of Fed chair Janet Yellen’s remarks over the next two days.

In other news, Ukraine said on Sunday it feared unrest could spread beyond territory held by pro-Russian separatists, after an explosion killed two people at a memorial rally in an eastern city far from the front line, Reuters reported.

PostNL surges
In other stocks news, PostNL surged as much as 12 percent after reporting that it expected a rise in it underlying income for 2015.
Bovis Homes announced a 69 percent rise in pre-tax profit in its full-year earnings on Monday; shares climbed nearly 2 percent in early deals before closing 0.3 percent higher.
Meanwhile, Bunzl shares rose 1.2 percent after the cleaning product distributor reported a 3 percent increase in pre-tax profit.
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