Greek deal helps European shares following long weekend

AP News
Posted: May 02, 2017 8:20 AM
Greek deal helps European shares following long weekend

LONDON (AP) — European stock markets pushed higher Tuesday following a long weekend after Greece reached a deal with creditors that will stave off the country's bankruptcy. Asian shares had struggled earlier following the release of weaker-than-expected China manufacturing data.

KEEPING SCORE: Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.6 percent to 7,247 while the CAC 40 in France added 0.4 percent to 5,290. Germany's DAX rose 0.2 percent to 12,466. U.S. shares looked set for a lukewarm start, with Dow and S&P futures both down 0.1 percent.

GREECE'S DEAL: Greece and its creditors agreed the country should make another round of pension cuts in 2019 and commit to a budget target when its current bailout program ends next year. The deal will restart bailout loan payments and keep the country from facing default and reigniting a eurozone crisis this summer, officials said Tuesday.

U.S. GOVERNMENT SPENDING: In other reassuring news, the House of Representatives is due to vote Wednesday on a spending bill that would fund most government operations through September. The bill does not include the border wall President Donald Trump has proposed, and rejects his proposed cuts to popular domestic programs.

ANALYST VIEWPOINT: "After all the political events were settled, at least temporarily, the market focus now turns to corporate earnings season. So far, over 80 percent of the S&P 500 companies have announced positive surprises in their first-quarter earnings," said Margaret Yang of CMC Markets Singapore.

CHINA MANUFACTURING: The Caixin China purchasing managers survey found Chinese factories slowed production and slashed jobs in April as new orders weakened. The index fell to 50.3 from 51.2 in March, on a scale of 0-100 with readings above 50 indicating expansion. An official survey released earlier showed similar trends. "The latest PMI readings support our view that growth in China peaked at the turn of the year and is now decelerating," Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics said in a commentary.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 index advanced 0.7 percent to 19,445.70, helped by a weaker yen, which boosts profits for manufacturers. South Korea's Kospi gained 0.7 percent to 2,219.67. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 0.3 percent to 24,696.13, while the Shanghai Composite index gave up 0.4 percent to 3,143.71. Australia's S&P ASX 200 fell 0.1 percent to 5,950.40, while shares were higher in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 29 cents to $49.13 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 37 to $51.89 a barrel.

CURRENCIES: The euro was up 0.1 percent at $1.0915 while the dollar rose 0.4 percent to 112.24 yen.