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Europe set for higher open; Greece still in focus

European share markets are set for a higher open on Wednesday with investors eyeing a slew of earnings due and ongoing negotiations surrounding Greece’s bailout program.

Greece is due to submit a formal request on Wednesday to try to extend a rescue loan agreement, as concerns rise over the liquidity available to the country’s banks. U.S. stocks closed up on Tuesday on the news which sent the S&P 500 to a record high.

Talks between Greece and its euro zone creditors regarding its current bailout program broke down Monday but the European Central Bank’s Governing Council are set to meet Wednesday to discuss the issue further.

Meanwhile, the Bank of England will release the minutes of its last monetary policy meeting on Wednesday after consumer price data on Tuesday showed inflation at its lowest levels since records began.

On the data front, U.K. unemployment data is due at 9:30 a.m. GMT and euro zone construction data is expected at 10.00 a.m. The minutes of the latest Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (OPEC) meeting will be published after the European close.

In corporate earnings, Carlsberg, Peugeot and Credit Agricole are just some of the firms handing in report cards.

Asian markets enjoyed a positive session on Wednesday, with Japan and Australia shares hitting fresh multi-year highs following a positive lead from Wall Street overnight.

The U.S. backed a Russian sponsored peace proposal late Tuesday although reports state that fighting is continuing in the Ukrainian town of Debaltseve. In statement, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden condemned the violation of the cease-fire, saying that the costs to Russia “will rise” if it continues to violate the agreement.


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