Last-ditch proposals by Greece on major reforms to appease its creditors helped lift London’s top-flight today as hopes were raised that the debt-laden country could win a last minute rescue deal preventing its exit from the euro.
The FTSE 100 Index climbed 71 points to 6652.6 with investors also reassured that attempts by Beijing to arrest a sharp decline in the Chinese stock market appeared to be working.
Greece appeared to narrow its differences with European creditors as it offered to cut pensions, hike taxes and reduce state spending, while creditors said they were open to discussing how to ease the country’s debt load.
Jasper Lawler, market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said the moves suggested “a willingness to meet in the middle”, adding: “It’s the closest a deal for Greece has been in five months”.
Sentiment was also boosted by a 5% rise in Shanghai’s Composite Index overnight.
Among the FTSE 100 risers was British Airways owner International Airlines Group after Ryanair cleared the way for its 1.4 billion euro (£1 billion) takeover of Aer Lingus by agreeing to sell its 29.8% stake in the Irish carrier.
IAG shares climbed 2%, or 11.2p, to 525.8p. Ryanair also rose 2%.
Top of the risers’ board was Holiday Inn owner Intercontinental Hotels Group, after it agreed to sell its Intercontinental Hong Kong hotel to a consortium of investors for 938 million US dollars (£607 million).
The shares added nearly 4%, or 93p, to 2699p.