LONDON (AP) — Markets remained hopeful Wednesday that a long-awaited deal to allow Greece to claim its second bailout was near despite another delay to discussions between the country’s political leaders.
Stocks were generally firmer, while the euro was trading near two-month highs, as investors awaited the latest developments in Athens. Though a host of deadlines have passed without agreement, the prevailing view in the markets is that a deal for Greece to get its hands on euro130 billion ($170 billion) will be secured.
“Optimism that a deal will be reached has risen in recent days, though clearly that optimism remains vulnerable to unexpected developments,” said Nick Bennenbroek, an analyst at Wells Fargo Bank.
In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was unchanged at 5,890 while Germany’s DAX rose 0.5 percent to 6,785. The CAC-40 in France was 0.4 percent higher at 3,424.
The euro was also fairly subdued, trading flat at $1.3253, having earlier hit a two-month high of $1.3289.
In the U.S., the Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.1 percent at 12,885 while the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.2 percent to 1,350.
The focus in the markets remains centered on Athens as Greek coalition leaders study a draft deal on further austerity measures demanded to secure a new bailout that will determine whether the country avoids bankruptcy next month.
The heads of the three parties backing the interim government led by Prime Minister Lucas Papademos received the 50-page document, drafted with the country’s debt inspectors, earlier in the day. A meeting of Papademos with the party leaders, originally scheduled for 1100 GMT, had finally started at 1500 GMT.
Without the bailout, Greece would not have enough money to pay off a big bond redemption next month, triggering a default that could send shockwaves around financial markets and the global economy.