Europe rallies on cease-fire; Q4 GDP ahead

European equities are expected to open higher Friday following a cease-fire deal between Ukraine and Russia, with investors likely to focus on fourth quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data from the euro zone.

Global stock markets advanced Thursday on news of a cease-fire deal between Russia and Ukraine following months of violence between pro-Russian rebels and the Ukraine military.

Speaking on Russian TV, Russian President Putin said the agreement would mean the removal of heavy weapons and a full ceasefire from midnight on February 15. With a previous cease-fire having failed, analysts question how long this deal will last, however.

Asian markets mostly advanced early Friday and U.S. stocks closed sharply higher Thursday following the deal, shrugging off the lack of resolution over Greece’s bailout program.

Greek officials will meet representatives from the troika of the European Union (EU), European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund soon – most likely in Brussels on Friday -to prepare for Monday’s key Eurogroup meeting on debt talks, an EU official said on Thursday, Reuters reported.

At Thursday’s meeting of EU leaders, there was no talk of issues related to Greece’s economic problems, the chairman of the talks the current European Council President Donald Tusk said on Thursday.

Investors in Europe will eagerly watch for preliminary fourth quarter GDP data from France, Germany, Greece, Italy and the euro zone on Friday. In the third quarter, the euro zone economy expanded just 0.2 percent.

 Varchev Traders

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