December 12, 2017
Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Stocks rally ebbs as Greek PM urges 'No' vote

US stocks closed higher today but were down from earlier highs as energy stocks declined and Greece's debt crisis showed no clear signs of resolution.

The benchmark S&P 500's energy sector was dragged down by the biggest slide in oil prices since April after traders were surprised by a report that showed US crude stockpiles rose for the first time in more than two months.

Euro zone central bank chiefs kept in place their cap on a funding lifeline to Greece, maintaining pressure as Greece's lenders run out of cash. The country's banks have been shut since Monday ahead of a Sunday referendum on the bailout package offered by its international lenders last week.

Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said Athens aims to secure a deal Monday and would be willing to accept "strict" conditions in a new bailout package, if the sustainability of Greece's debt is guaranteed.

European shares extended gains after a report that Greece was ready to accept most conditions from its international creditors to clinch a debt deal.

The Financial Times, citing a letter Alexis Tsipras sent to the heads of the European Commission, the IMF and the European Central Bank, reported the Greek prime minister would accept all his bailout creditors' conditions that were on the table this weekend, with only a handful of minor changes.

However, the status of the deal remained deeply uncertain. Germany said it could not negotiate while Greece was headed for a referendum on the aid-for-reforms deal and Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem said he saw "little chance" of progress after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in a public address that Greece was being "blackmailed".

The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index closed up 2.1 percent after falling 1.3 percent a day earlier and slumping more than 4 percent on Monday on alarm about Greece. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 1.6 percent, while Germany's DAX gained 2.2 percent.

In Asia, Japanese shares gained after a central bank survey showed big businesses intended to increase capital spending at their fastest pace in a decade, but caution over developments in Greece limited gains.

Confidence at big Japanese manufacturers unexpectedly improved in the second quarter and is seen rising further, the Bank of Japan's "tankan" survey showed, offering relief to policy-makers keen to jump-start the economy.

The Nikkei share average rose 0.5 percent to 20,329.32. The broader Topix gained 0.4 percent to 1,636.41 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 climbed 0.3 percent to 14,764.55.

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