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Morning Brief


FTSE, DAX, CAC Seen Rising on Greek Debt Swap Hopes

European shares are seen opening higher as the deadline for Greece’s crucial debt swap deal nears.

Optimism has risen that the Greek debt swap deal – which expires tonight – will go through with enough participants. The Greek government said it was likely that there would be more than a 75 percent participation rate, which would be enough to see the deal through.

Speaking at the European University Institute, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said that Greece’s problems were of its own making and the argument could be made that Greece should never have been allowed to join the euro.

Interest rate decisions due on Thursday are likely to yield no surprises as the ECB is widely expected to keep interest rates on hold with no announcement of any further liquidity programs following its Long Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO) last week. A similar wait-and-see approach is likely to be mirrored by the Bank of England, with no further quantitative easing expected to be announced, nor any change in interest rates. Thursday marks three years that UK rates have been at a record low of 0.5 percent.

In earnings news, Carrefour, the French hypermarket chain, releases it fourth-quarter results, as does Air France KLM. Aviva will also release its preliminary results.