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European shares rise ahead of finance meeting

By CNNMoney.com staff

LONDON(CNNMoney.com) -- European shares rose Monday, as investors kept an eye on a meeting of finance ministers from the countries that use the euro.

The FTSE 100 in the U.K. closed up 0.5%, off earlier highs. The CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.3%, while Germany's DAX advanced 0.2%.

Investors are hoping more detailed measures to aid Greece will be unveiled after finance ministers from the 27 European Union meet on Tuesday. A meeting of finance ministers from the 16-nation euro zone yielded little concrete action on Monday.

Greece's debt problems and China's efforts to slow down lending have weighed on markets recently, as investors have feared they could derail the global economic recovery.

Japanese shares retreated Monday, with the benchmark Nikkei index shedding 0.8%. Markets in Hong Kong were closed for the lunar new year holiday.

All U.S. financial markets are closed Monday for Presidents Day.

EU leaders meeting at a summit last Thursday did not announce a deal to rescue Greece but said European countries would be prepared to step in if needed.

On Saturday, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said the European Union could do more to stand by his country.

"In the battle against the perceptions and the psychology of the markets, the EU was timid, at the least," Papandreou said Saturday.

Wall Street snapped a four-week losing streak last week, but trading is expected to be volatile once traders return from Monday's holiday.

This week brings a batch of reports on the U.S. economy, including readings on the housing sector, inflation and regional manufacturing.

The corporate reporting period continues as well, with quarterly earnings reports due from Dow components Kraft (KFT, Fortune 500), Merck (MRK, Fortune 500), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ, Fortune 500) and Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500). PC maker Dell (DELL, Fortune 500) is also on tap to post results this week. To top of page

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