European shares rise, shrugging off slump in Greece market

European shares rise, shrugging off slump in Greece market

European shares rose on Monday as strong results from HSBC and Commerzbank offset the impact of weak Chinese data, but Greece's market slumped after re-opening following a five-week shutdown.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.7 percent, while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index also progressed 0.5 percent. Germany's DAX rose 0.5 percent while France's CAC gained 0.2 percent.

HSBC rose 1.2 percent after the bank reported higher first-half earnings and announced the sale of its Brazilian unit to Banco Bradesco SA for $5.2 billion. .

Commerzbank shares also advanced after the German lender reported higher profits, although mining stocks fell after data from China – the world's biggest metals consumer – showed a shrinking in factory activity in the country.

However, Athens' benchmark ATG equity index dropped by around 20 percent, with shares in the country's major banks also sliding lower, after the market re-opened.

Trading on the Athens bourse was suspended in late June as part of capital controls imposed to stem an outflow of euros that threatened to collapse Greece's banks and hurl the indebted country out of the euro zone.

Since then, Athens has agreed a framework bailout plan with European Union partners in exchange for stringent reforms and budget austerity. Implementation of the deal is also some way off, keeping alive political and economic stability concerns.

Nevertheless, the impact of Greece on the rest of Europe has been mitigated by economic stimulus measures from the European Central Bank (ECB), whose record low interest rates and liquidity have helped prop up European equities.

"A lot of overseas investors have stopped paying too much attention to Greece. The ECB's measures are helping to limit the negative fallout from Greece," said Andreas Clenow, hedge fund manager and principal at ACIES Asset Management.

Heineken shares also had their biggest one-day rise in a year after the drinks company's second-quarter results beat expectations.

According to data from Thomson Reuters StarMine, 55 percent of companies listed on the European STOXX 600 index have beaten or met market expectations with their results so far this quarter.


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