European stocks rise on Greek aid talk

By Grace Wong, contributing writer


LONDON (CNNMoney.com) -- European shares held gains early Friday following news that Greece may soon be getting the aid it so desperately needs.

In morning trading, Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.77%. The CAC 40 in France gained 0.42% and Germany's DAX jumped 1.2%. Markets had been slightly higher ahead of the news from Greece, lifted by encouraging economic news from Germany.

A report showing the business climate in Germany improving for a second month in a row lifted sentiment in the region.

The upbeat reading of the Ifo Business Climate survey in April helped offset earlier concerns about Greece's debt burden.

Early Friday, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou formally asked for the activiation of the European Union/International Monetary Fund loan package.

Fears that Greece would miss its May 19 deadline for refinancing €8.5, or about $11.4 billion in debt, grew Thursday after Moody's cut its bond rating on Greece and a separate report showed that Greece's deficit may be worse than previously estimated.

The move sent Greek bond prices in a tailspin, raising the yield on the country's benchmark 10-year bond to a record of 8.8%. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions. The yield on the Greek 10-year bond edged off its record highs following the news, dipping to 8.02%.

Worries that Greece might default on its debt have weighed on global markets in recent months. Investors fear that if that happens, Greece will be forced to seek a bailout.

Asian stocks fell back Friday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped nearly 1%. Japan's Nikkei ended the session 0.3% lower and the Shanghai Composite fell 0.5%.

U.S. stocks tumbled Thursday after Moody's downgraded Greece's bond rating but staged a comeback in the afternoon and managed to finish the session with slim gains. To top of page

Just the hot list include
Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.41%4.35%
15 yr fixed3.81%3.75%
5/1 ARM4.20%4.15%
30 yr refi4.38%4.30%
15 yr refi3.79%3.72%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 24,462.94 -201.95 -0.82%
Nasdaq 7,146.13 -91.93 -1.27%
S&P 500 2,670.14 -22.99 -0.85%
Treasuries 2.95 0.04 1.27%
Data as of 10:03am ET
Company Price Change % Change
General Electric Co 14.54 0.55 3.93%
Bank of America Corp... 30.26 0.08 0.27%
Apple Inc 165.72 -7.08 -4.10%
Ford Motor Co 10.82 -0.14 -1.28%
Advanced Micro Devic... 9.99 -0.12 -1.19%
Data as of Apr 20

Sections

The U.S. Justice Department is probing the major national wireless carriers and an industry group over possible coordination to make it harder for customers to switch carriers. More

US regulators are close to slapping Wells Fargo with a $1 billion fine for forcing customers into car insurance and charging mortgage borrowers unfair fees. More

The U.S. Justice Department is probing the major national wireless carriers and an industry group over possible coordination to make it harder for customers to switch carriers. More