European equities are expected to open mixed Thursday as a seven-hour meeting between the Eurogroup finance ministers in Brussels failed to find a solution for Greece’s soon-to-end bailout program.
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis’ meeting with other euro zone finance ministers did not yield a deal Wednesday with the finance ministers unable to even agree on a joint statement on the next steps to take.
“We discussed the possibility of an extension. For some that is clear that is the preferred option but we haven’t come to that conclusion as yet. We will need a little more time,” Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem told reporters in Brussels.
Talks will resume Monday, but time is running out as Greece’s current bailout program ends on February 28.
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, who was expected to announce an overhaul of the country’s current bailout program, played down the outcome. Talks were “very good”, he told reporters, adding that a “healing deal” on Greece’s finances could be reached on Monday, according to Reuters.
Asian stock markets were broadly lower early Thursday on the back of the Greek drama. A mixed finish on Wall Street and decline in oil prices also weighed on sentiment.
Meanwhile, talks between the leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine to establish a peace deal between the latter two countries went into the night Wednesday. A source told Reuters early Thursday that the leaders would sign some kind of document, but would not specify the contents. Violence in east Ukraine between pro-Russian rebels and the Ukraine military has worsened in recent weeks making a peace deal critical.
Swiss bank Credit Suisse said fourth quarter net profit was 921 million Swiss francs ($991.07 million), far exceeding expectations of 663 million francs in a Reuters poll of analysts.
Earnings are due from Societe Generale, Renault, Pernod Ricard, Total, Publicis, Christian Dior, EDF, L’Oreal, Havas, Commerzbank, Pirelli, TomTom, Akzo Nobel, Rio Tinto, Imperial Tobacco, Shire and 888.