ECONOMY

European index futures rise amid optimism on Greek bailout talks

European stock-index futures rose, signaling equities will complete a second week of gains, on speculation the region’s leaders will reach a compromise with Greece on its bailout terms.

Futures on the Euro Stoxx 50 Index expiring in March climbed 0.5 percent to 3,433 at 7:10 a.m. in London. Greece is seeking a new contract with the euro area on how to continue its bailout, according to government officials who took part in the talks.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said after meeting his European Union peers on Thursday that he sees political will to agree on terms for his nation after the current aid program ends this month. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her first meeting with Tsipras was friendly. Officials from euro-area creditors and Greek negotiators plan to meet in Brussels on Friday.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose to a seven-year high on Thursday, heading for a weekly gain of 0.4 percent, on optimism that Greece will reach a bailout agreement and the crisis in Ukraine won’t escalate. Stocks in Germany, the biggest trade partner in western Europe for Ukraine and Russia, surged 1.6 percent after the countries agreed on a cease-fire.

ThyssenKrupp AG is among stocks that may be active on corporate news. Germany’s largest steelmaker reported a profit for the fiscal first quarter and maintained its 2015 outlook as it cut costs and benefited from lower materials costs.

L’Oreal SA may be active after the cosmetics maker reported faster-than-estimated quarterly revenue growth and expressed confidence for 2015.

ArcelorMittal may move as the world’s largest steelmaker reported a drop in fourth-quarter profit and forecast lower earnings for 2015.

[Bloomberg]