World stock markets rise as investors fears recede over Greek debt deal


World stock markets rose Thursday as fears receded over the viability of a deal reached by European leaders to save Greece from financial collapse and preserve its place among nations that use the euro.

Benchmark oil fell to near $106 per barrel while the dollar fell against the euro and the yen.


In early European trading, Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.2 percent to 5,929.01. Germany’s DAX added 0.3 percent to 6,866.27 and France’s CAC-40 rose 0.3 percent to 3,458.78.

Wall Street was also headed for a higher opening, with Dow Jones industrial futures gaining 0.3 percent to 12,948 and S&P 500 futures rising 0.2 percent to 1,359.20.

“Equity markets globally now seem to have reached an interesting inflection point, having gotten off to a great start to the year,” analysts from IG Markets in Melbourne, Australia said in a report. “Greece fears seemed to have receded a touch last night.”

Stocks were mixed earlier in Asian trading as investors mulled whether the second emergency bailout announced Tuesday would be enough to keep Greece afloat. The country has been mired in recession for nearly five years and doesn’t have the money to repay holders of bonds coming due next month.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.8 percent to 21,380.99 and South Korea’s Kospi lost 1 percent to 2,007.08. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.2 percent to 4,286.20. Benchmarks in Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and the Philippines were also lower.

But Japan’s 225 Nikkei added 0.4 percent to close at 9,595.57, its highest finish since Aug. 4, as the dollar traded near a seven-month high against the yen. That’s a positive sign for Japan’s powerhouse exporters, which have struggled amid a prolonged period of strength in the yen.

In mainland China, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index added 0.3 percent to 2,409.66, its highest close in three months. The Shenzhen Composite Index advanced 0.5 percent to 958.80.

Investors have been worried that a $170 billion bailout for Greece would not be enough to keep the debt-laden country from eventually defaulting. Fitch ratings agency downgraded Greece further into junk status Wednesday, to a rating of C, one notch above default.

Greece says the bailout, plus an agreement it hopes to secure from investors to take losses on Greek government bonds, will keep it in the so-called eurozone.

Japan’s crucial export sector benefited from a weakening yen, which boosts repatriated profits and makes Japanese products cheaper overseas. Fujitsu Ltd. jumped 3.1 percent, while Sharp Corp. rose 2.7 percent and Nintendo Co. surged 4 percent.

But Mazda Motor Corp. plummeted 6.8 percent after the struggling car maker said it will raise about $2 billion from selling new shares to invest in assembly plants and developing new vehicle technologies.

Benchmark oil for April delivery was down 9 cents to $106.18 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 3 cents to finish at $106.28, the highest since May, in New York on Wednesday.

In currency trading, the dollar slipped to 80.14 yen. On Wednesday in New York, the greenback reached 80.24 yen — a seven-month high that came a week after the Bank of Japan announced a surprise increase in its economic stimulus program. The yen has been falling against the dollar ever since the announcement.

The euro rose to $1.3319 from $1.3244.