Investing.com - European stocks were higher on Wednesday, supported by growing optimism over the possibility for European officials to find an agreement on a new financing arrangement for Greece.
During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 (XETRA:SDJE50) climbed 0.53%, France's CAC 40 advanced 0.63%, while Germany's DAX gained 0.35%.
Market participants remained optimistic that a new deal on Greece's international bailout could be reached, despite a standoff between Athens and European officials after talks broke down on Monday.
Greece's current €240 billion bailout is due to expire at the end of the month and the new Greek government does not want it extended. Athens rejected a proposed six-month extension of the bailout on Monday, calling it "unacceptable".
Athens has until Friday to request an extension otherwise its bailout will expire on February 28 and the country will run out of money, which could trigger the country's exit from the euro zone.
Financial stocks were broadly higher, as French lendersBNP Paribas (PARIS:BNPP) andSociete Generale (PARIS:SOGN) surged 2.34% and 1.92%, while Germany'sDeutsche Bank (XETRA:DBKGn) and Commerzbank (XETRA:CBKG) gained 0.24% and 1.50%.
Among peripheral lenders, Italy'sIntesa Sanpaolo (MILAN:ISP) and Unicredit (MILAN:CRDI) jumped 1.09% and 1.12% respectively, while Spanish banksBanco Santander (MADRID:SAN) and BBVA (MADRID:BBVA) advanced 1.17% and 1.20%.
Elsewhere,Peugeot (PARIS:PEUP) climbed 3.15% after the French carmaker posted its first annual profit in three years after cutting costs.
Vivendi (PARIS:VIV) rallied 1.42% after the French media company received an offer of 3.9 billion for its 20% stake in Numericable-SFR from the cable group and Altice France (AMS:ATCE).
In London, commodity-heavy FTSE 100 rose 0.18%, supported by gains in the energy sector.
Shares in oil and gas majorBP (LONDON:BP) advanced 0.32% and Petrofac (LONDON:PFC) jumped 1.54%, while rival companyTullow Oil (LONDON:TLW) rallied 1.86%, leading gains on the index.
Meanwhile, mining stocks were mixed.Glencore Xstrata (LONDON:GLEN) saw shares decline 0.43% andFresnillo (LONDON:FRES) tumbled 1.08%, whileRio Tinto (LONDON:RIO) andBhp Billiton (LONDON:BLT) rose 0.20% and 0.41% respectively.
In the financial sector, stocks were broadly higher asHSBC Holdings (LONDON:HSBA) added 0.21% and Lloyds Banking (LONDON:LLOY) climbed 0.42%, whileBarclays (LONDON:BARC) and the Royal Bank of Scotland (LONDON:RBS) jumped 0.92% and 1.14%.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a steady to higher open. The Dow 30 futures pointed to a 0.06% gain, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.01% uptick, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.08% rise.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to release data on producer prices, housing starts, building permits and industrial production. In addition, the Federal Reserve was to publish the minutes of its January meeting.
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