By Randall Mah
Progress on a deal between Greece and its private debt holders continued to stall on Friday, as euro zone finance ministers pledged yesterday to try and agree to a second financing package for the country by Monday.
By mid-morning, Britain’s FTSE had risen 0.29%, the German DAX was up 0.26%, and France’s CAC 40 had climbed 0.10%.
The British pound appreciated 0.23% to $1.5843 and the euro rose 0.17% to $1.3166.
However, the mood remained tentative after losses in Asia.
The Nikkei (EWJ) fell 0.51%. Shares of Sony (SNE) enjoyed a whopping 8.06% jump just days after the company announced Kazuo Hirai will take over from Howard Stringer as CEO and president in April. Stocks of Canon likewise climbed 1.98% after the company announced a share buyback worth up to $657 million.
In Shanghai, Chinese shares (YAO) got a boost of 0.77%.
During a visit to Beijing by German Chancellor Angela Kerkel, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao raised the possibility of China’s contributing to European debt rescue funds.
“China is considering greater involvement in resolving Europe’s debt crisis by participating in the European Financial Stability Fund and the European Stability Mechanism,” Wen said. The EFSF is the temporary rescue fund that is expected to be replaced by the ESM, a permanent 500 billion euro bailout fund, in July.
In Singapore shares (EWS) appreciated 0.58%. Singapore Airlines, the world’s second-largest airline, reported an unexpectedly steep 53% fall in quarterly profit yesterday. The airline has been struggling with fewer passengers and higher fuel costs. Shares of Singapore Airlines dropped 3.55%.
The Chinese yuan got a bump of 0.02% to 6.3027 to the dollar, while the Japanese yen dipped 0.01% to 76.22 against the greenback.