European equities were higher in morning trade on Monday, following a deal to extend Greece’s bailout program by four months.
Greek deal reached
The news from Greece Friday evening gave investors something to cheer and sent markets higher.
Greece’s left-wing government, led by Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras, was given a lifeline when the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers reached a deal to extend the country’s bailout by four months. To secure the financial lifeline, however, Greece must present a list of reform proposals on Monday.
Some in Greece have accused the new government of back-tracking from election promises to scrap the country’s bailout, overseen by the European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund and European Commission.
The Athens stock exchange is closed on Monday.
On the data front, Germany’s widely-watched Ifo Index showed that business confidence in the country rose once again in February. It managed to miss analyst analyst expectations, however. and the euro currency weakened after the figures.
HSBC shares fell 5.6 percent on Monday following its full-year earnings. The bank reported pre-tax profit down 17 percent to $18.7 billion, amid scrutiny following allegations that its Swiss private bank helped some clients to evade tax.
In Asia, markets mostly rose on the first trading day of the Year of the Sheep, buoyed by a bailout deal in Greece. However, trading volumes remained light with China, Taiwan and Vietnam still closed for the Chinese New Year holiday.
In other news, Ukraine said on Sunday it feared unrest could spread beyond territory held by pro-Russian separatists, after an explosion killed two people at a memorial rally in an eastern city far from the front line, Reuters reported.
In other stocks news, PostNL surged 10 percent after reporting that it expected a rise in it underlying income for 2015.
Bovis Homes announced a 69 percent rise in pre-tax profit in its full-year earnings on Monday; shares climbed nearly 2 percent in early deals.
Meanwhile, Bunzl shares rose 1.4 percent after the cleaning product distributor reported a 3 percent increase in pre-tax profit.
CNBC’s See Kit Tang contributed to this market report.