Stock markets edge up but Greece standoff looms

AP News
Posted: Feb 10, 2015 7:41 AM
Stock markets edge up but Greece standoff looms

BEIJING (AP) — Stocks were mostly higher on Tuesday, despite losses in Asia, as investors monitor a standoff between Greece and its creditors that threatens to shake markets.

KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC-40 rose 1.3 percent to 4,708.53 and Germany's DAX rose 1.1 percent to 10,776.79. Britain's FTSE 100 shed 0.1 percent to 6,831.49. Wall Street looked set to recover from losses Monday. Dow futures were up 0.5 percent while S&P 500 futures added 0.6 percent.

GREECE STRESS: Tensions between Athens and its European creditors mounted after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Sunday declared an end to budget cuts and tax increases. Tsipras said he would press for a short-term loan to give the country and its creditors time to negotiate a replacement for its bailout program. Greece is a relatively small economy but investors worry that if it drops out of the euro currency, that might send shock waves through markets. After a drop on Monday, European markets seemed more hopeful on Tuesday for a deal.

THE QUOTE: "The fiscal crisis in Greece clearly poses a significant downside risk to the global economy, even if the threat of contagion has diminished somewhat since 2012," said Andrew Kenningham of Capital Economics in a report.

ASIA'S DAY: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 declined 0.3 percent to 17,652.68 while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.5 percent to 3,141.59. Seoul's Kospi shed 0.6 percent to 1,935.86 and Sydney and Southeast Asian markets also fell. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was flat at 24,528.10.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was down 41 cents to $52.45 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract added $1.17 on Monday to close at $52.86. The drop on Monday came as the International Energy Agency said it expected a recovery in the price of oil, but not back to the levels above $100 a barrel seen in recent years.

CURRENCIES: The dollar strengthened to 119.05 yen from Monday's 118.58 yen. The euro declined to $1.1306 from $1.1330.