European shares rally on hopes of Greek debt deal

martes 3 de febrero de 2015 05:21 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 1.3 percent, Athens's ATG up 6 pct

* Germany's DAX index hits fresh record high

* Santander, BP rise after posting results

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, Feb 3 (Reuters) - European stocks rose on Tuesday, lifted by hopes of an agreement on the Greek debt standoff after the country's new government dropped calls for a write-off of its foreign debt and proposed swapping debt for growth-linked bonds.

Athens' benchmark index ATG gained 6 percent, with the country's banks index rising 11.6 percent. National Bank of Greece climbed 12.9 percent, Alpha Bank was up 12.4 percent and Eurobank up 13.5 percent.

Shares in other southern European markets also outperformed, with Spain's IBEX up 1.6 percent and Italy's MIB up 1.8 percent.

Spain's Santander featured among the top gainers, rising 3.3 percent after the euro zone's biggest bank reported a nearly 70 percent jump in fourth-quarter profit, lifted by earnings from its lending business and as charges on soured loans fell.

Energy shares also rallied, led by a 4 percent gain in the shares of BP after the oil major beat profit expectations for the fourth quarter. Although it took a $3.6 billion impairment charge and cut capital expenditure due to low oil prices, it maintained its quarterly dividend at 10 cents per ordinary share.   Continuación...