European shares soar to seven-year high as Germany approves Greece bailout

 
Emma Haslett
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European stocks have climbed 15 per cent since the beginning of the year (Source: Getty)

European markets soared this morning after Germany approved plans to extend Greece's bailout loan by four months - causing investors to shed concerns about a Grexit. For the time being, anyway.

The German Bundestag approved Greece's bailout deal, which will prevent it from defaulting when its current programme of loans ends on Saturday.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares rose 0.3 per cent to 1,561.60 points in early trading, a seven year high. The index was buoyed by strong results from Airbus and British Airways owner International Airlines Group. According to analysis by Reuters, two-thirds of the way into Europe's earnings season, 55 per cent of companies have met or beaten profit forecasts.

The index was also helped by positive figures from Italy, which showed inflation had risen from -0.5 per cent to 0.1 per cent in February. Germany inflation figures, due out later today, are expected to show prices climbed this month.

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 has risen 15 per cent since the beginning of the year, despite uncertainties in Greece, Russia and Ukraine.

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