European shares hit six-week highs, OCI surges

lunes 20 de julio de 2015 08:24 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300up 0.5 pct, STOXX 600 up 0.5 pct

* Chemicals companies lifted by merger talk

* Julius Baer slides after tax-dodging charge

* Precious metal miners hit after gold drops to 5 year low (Updates prices)

By Alistair Smout

LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) - European shares rose to six-week highs on Monday as Greece began to return to normality after a deal to agree a new bailout package, with Dutch chemicals firm OCI surging as it confirmed it was in merger talks.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of European blue-chip stocks was up 0.5 percent, hitting its highest level since May 29 at 1,621.31 points, while the broader STOXX Europe 600 rose 0.5 percent to 407.75 points.

Volatility has been cut in half in less than two weeks on the prospect of a new deal to resolve Greece's debt crisis, with Monday marking a first step in reopening Greek banks and paying off billions of euros owed to international creditors.

"(There is) ongoing progress in the Greek debt crisis following the deal agreement last week," Nomura strategists wrote.   Continuación...