Europe stocks seen mixed, Greek bailout news eyed

PARIS (BestGrowthStock) – European stocks were seen flat to slightly lower on Friday, following the previous session’s rebound from a sharp two-day sell-off, as investors eagerly awaited to see if the European Union will agree on a rescue package for debt-stricken Greece.

By 0630 GMT, futures for the STOXX Europe 50, for Germany’s DAX and for France’s CAC were flat to down 0.3 percent.

“Expectations of an announcement about a joint EU-IMF bailout of Greece within days have helped soothe investor anxiety about an imminent Greek default,” CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson wrote in a note.

On Thursday, Greece readied severe austerity measures to secure a multi-billion-euro bailout package and avoid defaulting.

A downgrade of Greece, Portugal and Spain credit ratings by Standard & Poor’s earlier this week triggered a sharp sell-off in global equities, and Moody’s Investors Service could also downgrade Greece’s ratings to “junk” status in the next few days, an analyst with the firm said on Thursday.

The FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) index of top European shares is on track to record a weekly loss of 2 percent, its third consecutive negative week.

For the month, the index is set to record a monthly loss of 0.8 percent, its third monthly loss so far in 2010.

“The market has certainly been served up a reminder this week that volatility and surprises are still out there,” IG Markets analyst Ben Potter wrote in a note.

Investors were also digesting news that the Bank of Japan left its interest rate and monetary policy settings unchanged as expected. The central bank also said its governor had instructed staff to examine ways to support financial institutions via fund supplies to shore up the foundations for economic growth.

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(Reporting by Blaise Robinson)

Europe stocks seen mixed, Greek bailout news eyed