European Factors to Watch-Shares seen up as Greece approves bailout plan
(Updates futures prices, adds company news)
LONDON, July 16 (Reuters) - European shares were expected to open higher on Thursday after the Greek parliament passed sweeping austerity measures demanded by its lenders to open talks on a new multibillion-euro bailout package to keep Greece in the euro.
In exchange for funding worth up to 86 billion euros ($94 billion), Greece has accepted reforms including significant pension adjustments, increases to value added taxes, an overhaul of its collective bargaining system, measures to liberalise its economy and tight limits on public spending.
"European equities are set to rally this morning as the crucifying austerity measures sail through the Hellenic Parliament," London Capital Group said in a morning note.
"Bulls should be relishing in the fact that an overwhelming majority of the Parliament voted in favour of the bill with only a minor amount of grumbling dissidents."
Greece's approval of the bailout deal could persuade the European Central Bank to ease its funding squeeze on Athens as soon as Thursday, the first step in reopening banks and returning some normality to its stricken economy.
Futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX, Britain's FTSE and France's CAC were up 0.2 to 0.5 percent by 0644 GMT.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed 0.4 percent higher at 1,586.50 points in the previous session, while U.S. stocks edged lower following comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
Yellen said the U.S. central bank remains on track to raise interest rates this year, with labor markets expected to steadily improve and turmoil abroad unlikely to throw the U.S. economy off track. Continuación...