European stocks start week with gains

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LONDON (AFP) – Europe s main stock markets rose on Monday as investors followed developments in Greece, which made massive loan repayments to creditors and reopened its banks.

London s benchmark FTSE 100 index added 0.20 percent to end the day at 6,788.69 points.

In the eurozone, the CAC 40 in Paris edged up 0.35 percent to 5,142.49 points, while Frankfurt s DAX 30 rose 0.53 percent to 11,735.72 points compared with Friday s close.

Focus remained firmly on Greece, where banks re-opened their doors Monday after a three-week shutdown imposed to prevent a mass cash withdrawal that could have caused the financial system to collapse.

The Greek government made a 4.2 billion euro ($4.6 billion) loan repayment due to the European Central Bank on Monday as well as outstanding sums owed to the International Monetary Fund, both creditors said in statements.

“News on Monday that Greece had made scheduled payments to the ECB and IMF using its newly-agreed bridge finance was encouraging,” said analyst Jennifer McKeown at Capital Economics.

But she also warned of possible political upheaval with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras “fighting against considerable dissent from within his party, which could prompt an early election this autumn.”

The euro strengthened against the dollar after earlier weakness caused by expectations of a US interest rate rise by the end of the year.

The European single currency stood at $1.0855 compared with $1.0830 late on Friday in New York.

2015-07-21

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