Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 22nd 2015 Contents FEBRUARY 22 • 2015 www.guardian.co.tt SUNDAY BUSINESS GUARDIAN
STOCKS | SBG9
Adeal giving Greece more time
to repay its debts swung the US
stock market higher Friday and
drove the stock market to a
While expected, the deal between the struggling
country and its European creditors left investors
relieved. Any failure to reach an accord could have
sent tremors through markets at a time when Europe
is trying to revive its regional economy.
"It s good this didn t go down to the wire to get
resolved," said Paul Christopher, head of international
strategy at Wells Fargo.
Stocks started off the day solidly lower. The Dow
Jones industrial average fell as much as 107 points.
But as rumors and news came out that Greece and
its creditors were close to a deal, the market climbed
ever-so-steadily higher. The euro also gained against
The Dow finished up 154.67 points, or 0.9 per
cent, to 18,140.44. The Standard & Poor s 500 index
climbed 12.85 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 2,110.30
and the Nasdaq composite rose 31.27 points, or 0.6
per cent, to 4,955.97. The Dow closed at a record
high, surpassing its record close on December 26.
The S&P 500 also closed at record high.
The Nasdaq, which has yet to reclaim its record
high from the dot-com era, in now within 93 points
of that March 2000 peak.
In Brussels, the deal reached between the European
Union and Greece s recently elected government
would extend the country s repayment plan by four
months. That is shorter than the six months orig-
inally requested by Greece.
In return, Greece has committed to not pursue
any "unilateral" measures that might affect the
country s budget targets. Greece has committed to
provide a list of reforms based on its current bailout
programme for assessment by Monday.
The deal is a shift from only a day ago, where it
seemed like Greece and its creditors were still strug-
gling to reach a basic agreement for the Mediter-
ranean country. Without the agreement, Greece
would have only about a week left before it would
default on its obligations and cause it to drop the
Greece s economy is small, but the potential dis-
ruption Greece could have to the global financial
system potentially could be huge. In a worst-case
scenario, Greece abandoning the euro could embold-
en political parties in other debt-ridden countries
to seek to leave the euro as well.
"A Greek exit is not good for anyone, including
the Greeks," said Christopher of Wells Fargo. "If
Greece leaves, everyone else could leave and you re
left with nothing."
In energy markets, the price of oil fell Friday after
a closely-watched count of drilling rigs declined
less than expected. That could mean crude supplies
will remain ample.
Benchmark US crude fell 82 cents to close at
US$50.34 a barrel in New York on the last day of
trading for the March contract. Brent crude, a bench-
mark for international oils used by many US refiner-
ies, rose one cent to close at US$60.22 in London.
In other futures trading, wholesale gasoline rose
2.5 cents to close at US$1.641 a gallon. Heating oil
rose 11.8 cents to close at US$2.112 a gallon. Natural
gas rose 11.7 cents to close at US$2.951 per 1,000
The US dollar rose to 119.09 yen from 119.04 yen
the previous session, while the euro rose against
the dollar to US$1.1379 compared with US$1.1368
Gold fell US$2.70 to US$1,204.90 an ounce, silver
fell 11 cents to $16.30 an ounce and high-grade
copper fell 3 cents to US$2.59 a pound.
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, Monday, February 9, 2015. US
stocks are opening lower, following declines in overseas markets on weak Chinese trade data and more
worries about Greece's finances.
A man watches an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo Friday,
February 20, 2015. Asian trading was quiet with most markets closed for the
Lunar New Year holidays Friday, and Tokyo shares continued to rise on recent
optimism about an economic recovery. AP
hits new high
after Greece gets loan extension
Greece heads to another
round of negotiations
Friday after dropping key
demands for a bailout
settlement, but still faced
stiff opposition from lead lender Ger-
many, which criticized Athens latest
proposals as a "Trojan horse" designed
to dodge its commitments.
Eurozone finance ministers agreed
to hold their third meeting on the Greek
debt crisis in just over a week after
Athens formally requested a six-month
extension of loan agreements with res-
cue creditors that expire this month.
Going back on recent election cam-
paign pledges, Prime Minister Alexis
Tsipras new left-wing government said
it would honor debt obligations and
agree to continued supervision from
bailout lenders and the European Cen-
Late Thursday, Tsipras held telephone
conversations with French President
Francois Hollande and German Chan-
cellor Angela Merkel after Germany
sharply criticised the Greek offer during
preparatory talks in Brussels.
Greek media, including state televi-
sion, widely quoted a German repre-
sentative at the talks as saying the Greek
offer "rather represents a Trojan horse,
intending to get bridge financing and
in substance putting an end to the cur-
The comments were confirmed by
a senior official in the Greek Finance
Ministry who could not be identified
because the talks in Brussels were not
public. In Berlin, government officials
did not comment publicly on the
remarks, but told The Associated Press
they accurately reflected the German
Germany argues that Greece has
failed to provide detailed alternatives
to cost-cutting reforms imposed by the
previous government that helped the
country balance its budget after decades
of excessive borrowing.
Greek and European markets were
largely unaffected by the German
response. Europe s Stoxx 50 index rising
0.64 per cent, but Athens is under
increasing pressure to break the impasse
"If there s no agreement in the next
few days there is a risk of (a bank run)
because liquidity in Greek banks is very
limited and there are many who say
that capital controls are very close,"
said Evangelos Sioutis, head of equities
at Guardian Trust Securities.
Although Greece emerged from the
recession with a primary budget surplus
last year, it faces a spike in debt repay-
ment in 2015 with hopes of a full return
to markets hit by renewed uncertainty
and a resulting surge borrowing rates.
Greece drops key
bailout demands, but
Germany still objects
Asian trading was quiet with most
markets closed for the Lunar New Year
holidays Friday, and Tokyo shares con-
tinued to rise on recent optimism about
an economic recovery.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan s bench-
mark Nikkei 225 rose 0.3 per cent to
18,323.17 in morning trade, building on
the upbeat mood that marked the pre-
vious day, when it closed at a nearly
15-year high. Japan has been pushing
ahead with export-encouraging policies
such as the cheap yen. Toyota was up
0.8 per cent. Softbank gained 1.0 per
cent, and Canon added 0.3 per cent.
Australia s S&P/ASX 200 edged down
0.5 per cent to 5,873.80. Other regional
markets were closed for the holidays.
CURRENCIES: The US dollar was
down slightly against the yen, trading
at 118.92 yen, but little changed against
the euro at US$1.1369.
Tokyo stock rise as other
Asian markets closed for holidays
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