European Shares Edge Up on Greek Debt Deal

European shares edged higher on Tuesday after an agreement by international lenders to cut Greece's debt gave some short-term support to investor sentiment.


The FTSEurofirst 300 index, which rose 4 percent last week, provisionally closed up 0.3 percent at 1,107.57 points, with the Greek deal clearing the way for the next tranche of aid to Athens to help avoid an imminent default.

Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the Eurogroup of finance ministers, said Greece would receive a tranche of 34.4 billion euros of aid on December 13 for which it has been waiting since June.

However, the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index was flat at 2,542.43 points, and many investors voiced doubts about details of the plan, including Greece's ability to meet deficit reduction targets.

"There's a glimmer of hope but the market needs more than that," said XBZ Ltd European equity options broker Mike Turner.

Food company Nestle and healthcare group Novartis added the most points to the FTSEurofirst 300 index, indicating a tendency to favor "defensive" stocks seen as the most resilient to a weak economy, over more "risky" stocks such as banks.