Global indexes rise
Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who heads meetings of his euro-region counterparts, said a solution to the standoff will be “very difficult.” Terra Firma Capital Partners Ltd. founder Guy Hands said Greece “could well’ exit the euro area.
The gains in Greek bonds boosted confidence in the euro area’s other higher-yielding debt markets. Portugal’s 10-year rate fell 14 basis points to a record low 2.33%, Italy’s declined seven basis points to 1.58% and Spain’s was eight basis points lower at 1.54%. National equity gauges of those nations rose more than 0.8%.
German and U.K. government bonds fell on reduced demand for the safest fixed-income assets. The average cost of borrowing for investment-grade companies in Europe dropped to a record 0.94%, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Euro Corporate Index.
Among stocks moving on corporate news, CBS Corp. rose 3.9% in early New York trading after reporting quarterly results that beat estimates. Anglo American Plc gained 2% after posting full-year earnings that topped projections and writing down assets by $3.9 billion.
American International Group Inc. fell 2.2% after the insurer reported a decline in earnings. ThyssenKrupp AG, Germany’s largest steelmaker, lost 4.2% after posting profit that missed estimates. Seadrill Ltd. slumped 8.6% after the rig operator said it’s removing $1.1 billion worth of contracts with Petroleo Brasileiro SA from its order book.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index added 1.1%, taking its advance this week to 0.3%. European Union leaders started work on further sanctions to prod Russia to enforce the cease-fire in eastern Ukraine as fierce fighting focused on a crossroad town of Debaltseve. The accord struck between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin envisages a truce from midnight on Feb. 15 and reaffirms some commitments from a failed September bid to end the conflict.
Russia’s Micex Index climbed 1.3%, and the ruble strengthened 0.9% for a 3.1% rally in the past five days.
West Texas Intermediate increased 1.3% to $52.50 a barrel, heading for its longest stretch of weekly gains since May on speculation that a decline in U.S. drilling will slow production and curb a global supply glut. Apache Corp. is cutting its oil-drilling rigs by 70% while Total SA joins companies including BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc in reducing spending.
The yield on Japan’s 10-year bond rose three basis points to 0.42% after people familiar with Bank of Japan discussions said policy makers are concerned that any further stimulus could prove counterproductive right now. That’s more than twice the record low of 0.195% on Jan. 20.