Greek austerity vote lifts euro, shares

Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:40am EST
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By Richard Hubbard

LONDON (Reuters) - Stocks and the euro rose on Monday on relief over sweeping austerity measures passed by the Greek parliament, but gains looked fragile with several issues still to be resolved before the shadow of a messy debt default is lifted.

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a recovery for equities on Wall Street after delays in agreeing a new Greek bailout deal sent the S&P 500 index to its biggest daily loss of the year on Friday. .N

"People were losing patience with Greece. In the end they got their act together and it's definitely a positive," Markus Huber, head of German sales trading at ETX Capital, said.

Before Greece can secure a second rescue and get the $14.5 billion euros it needs to meet debt repayments due on March 20, the Greek government must convince a skeptical euro zone that it would stick to the terms of the deal.

The focus is now on a euro zone finance ministers meeting on Wednesday that is due to decide on approval of the next 130-billion euro aid package.

The FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index of top shares, which fell 0.9 percent to a one-week low on Friday, was up 0.8 percent at 1072.82 points, led by banks with the main European banking shares index gaining 1.3 percent.

The broad MSCI All Country World Index .MIWD00000PUS was up 0.6 percent at 325.80 and heading back towards six-month highs, also driven by signs of an improving global economic outlook.

The euro was up 0.6 percent to $1.3255, recouping some of the losses made on Friday and looking set to test a two-month high of $1.3322 hit last week.   Continued...

<p>Riot police stand guard in front of the parliament during a protest against austerity measures in Athens February 9, 2012. REUTERS/John Kolesidis</p>