European Equities Rally as Greece, Creditors Reach Deal on Bailout

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European equity benchmarks were trading higher on Tuesday morning after a Bank Holiday weekend saw the region's main bourses shut on Monday and fresh data showed that Eurozone manufacturing expanded at the fastest pace in six years in April.

The closely-watched Markit Eurozone Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), which is seen as a gauge of manufacturing activity in the shared currency union and is based on survey data from approximately 3,000 manufacturing firms, posted a reading of 56.7 in April, up from 56.2 in March, and the highest level since April 2011. Readings above 50 signal expansion.

A deal between Greece and its creditors which enabled Athens to continue its bailout program was also feeding into trading sentiment. Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos was cited by the Wall Street Journal as saying that the country and its lenders had agreed on a round of austerity measures and economic overhauls to keep the 86 billion euro ($93.86 billion) bailout program going.

In equities, oil and gas production major BP was among the highest gainers on London's mining-heavy FTSE 100 Index, advancing by 1.9% after it posted results which showed that it swung to a profit of $1.45 billion in the first quarter of the year from a loss of $583 million in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Scottish financial services institution Standard Life was also 1.9% higher and Hikma Pharmaceutical was up by 1.8%. Rentokil, a commercial pest control company, advanced by 1.6%.

On Frankfurt's DAX, media company ProSiebenSat1 Media was 1.2% higher, followed by Fresenius Medical Care, a kidney dialysis company, up by 1.0% and airline operator Lufthansa, 0.5% higher. Deutsche Boerse, an exchange organization, was up by 0.4%. And, on Paris' CAC-40, technology consulting company Cap Gemini was 1.5% higher, followed by Safran, a producer of aircraft and propulsion systems, up by 1.1% and industrial group Legrand and Sanofi, a health care company, both 0.8% higher. Cement-maker LafargeHolcim was up by 0.7%.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 Index was 0.29% higher, London's FTSE 100 Index was up by 0.65%, Frankfurt's DAX was up by 0.11% and Paris' CAC-40 was 0.28% higher at the time of writing.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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