European stock markets hover near multi-year highs

viernes 20 de febrero de 2015 07:17 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 flat, hovers just below 7-year high

* $5.8 bln inflows to European equities -BoAML

* Politicians gather for new attempt on Greek deal

* Europe enjoying best earnings season in 3-1/2 years

By Sudip Kar-Gupta and Blaise Robinson

LONDON/PARIS, Feb 20 (Reuters) - European stock markets steadied near multi-year highs on Friday, as euro zone finance ministers prepared another attempt at reaching a deal on Greece.

At a crucial Eurogroup meeting in Brussels, they will try to break a deadlock over Athens's urgent need for further financing, but it may take an emergency summit of the currency bloc in the coming week to clinch any deal.

With EU paymaster Germany and Greece's new radical leftist-led Syriza government digging their heels in over demands that Athens stick to strict austerity conditions in its international bailout programme, the two sides seemed far apart hours before the meeting.

The Greek stalemate also overshadowed data pointing to growth in Germany and France.   Continuación...