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Europe shares lifted by Ukraine peace deal and Swedish stimulus
February 12, 2015 / 1:16 PM / 3 years ago

Europe shares lifted by Ukraine peace deal and Swedish stimulus

* Stocks rally as Ukraine peace deal announced

* Swedish stock market hits record high on rate cut, QE move

* Greek shares rise as investors still hope for debt deal

* Ct Suisse, Renault rise after results

By Sudip Kar-Gupta and Blaise Robinson

LONDON/PARIS, Feb 12 (Reuters) - European stocks hit multi-year highs on Thursday, boosted by a Ukraine peace agreement, Swedish economic stimulus measures and hopes for a Greek debt deal.

The leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine agreed an accord to end fighting in eastern Ukraine, participants at the talks said on Thursday.

Germany’s DAX -- which includes companies that sell cars and other products to Russia -- rose 1.8 percent to approach the DAX’s earlier record highs, while France’s CAC rose 1.1 percent to its best level in about seven years.

Sweden’s benchmark OMXS30 equity index hit a record high after Sweden’s central bank moved its key interest rate into negative territory and launched bond purchases in a process known as “quantitative easing” (QE) to bolster its economy.

“The Ukraine situation remains volatile but the medium-term outlook for European equities is positive. Investors could look to take profits in the short term, but European equities should be able to outperform U.S. equities,” said Francois Savary, chief investment strategist at Swiss bank Reyl.


The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.8 percent to its highest level in seven years and the euro zone’s Euro STOXX 50 index advanced by 1.5 percent.

The Greek stock market also rose 4.3 percent as investors held out hope that the new Greek government could reach a deal with international creditors over the country’s bailout.

National Bank of Greece and other Greek bank stocks advanced, helped by a dip in Greek bond yields while research firm CrossBorder Capital said the amount of money flowing out of Greece was lower than feared.

Credit Suisse shares rose 9.6 percent after the bank outlined measures to deal with the strong Swiss franc and posted fourth-quarter net profit ahead of analysts’ estimates.

Shares in Renault also soared 9.8 percent after the French carmaker posted a jump in profits.

Bucking the trend, shares in Zurich Insurance slipped after it kept its dividend unchanged, disappointing some who had expected a rise.

European corporate results have been mostly positive so far, with 62 percent of companies meeting or beating earnings forecasts with their results, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data.

“Earnings are pretty good overall, with a couple of very nice surprises such as Renault,” said Saxo Bank trader Andrea Tueni.

Europe bourses in 2015:

Asset performance in 2015:

Today’s European research round-up (Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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