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    01.07.2015 16:08 European stocks close: stocks closed higher on hopes for a deal between Athens and its lenders

    Stock indices closed higher on hopes for a deal between Athens and its lenders. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in a speech on Wednesday that Greeks should vote "no" in Sunday's referendum. He added that "no" would not mean that Greece have to leave the Eurozone.

    Earlier, Greek prime minister signalled that he was ready to accept the most spending cuts demanded by the country's creditors.

    German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Wednesday that there was no basis to have further negotiations with Greece.

    EU leaders have different opinions. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday that she would wait until the Greek referendum on Sunday is over before starting to negotiate with Greece again. But French President Francois Hollande said on Wednesday that a deal between Greece and its creditors should be reached before the referendum on Sunday.

    Meanwhile, the economic data from the Eurozone was solid. Eurozone's final manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 52.5 in June from 52.2 in May, in line with a preliminary reading. It was the highest level since April 2014.

    The Netherlands was the strongest performer.

    Markit's Chief Economist Chris Williamson said that June's PMI was "representing a major improvement compared to the malaise seen at the end of last year".

    Germany's final manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 51.9 in June from 51.1 in May, in line with a preliminary reading.

    The increase was driven by a rise in output at consumer goods producers and in output in new orders.

    "The overall expansions in output and new business were, however, well below levels seen at the start of last year," Markit economist Oliver Kolodseike said.

    France's final manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 50.7 in June from 49.4 in May, up from the preliminary reading of 50.5. It was the first reading above 50 since April 2014.

    "The French manufacturing sector edged further in the right direction during June, with output and new orders broadly stabilizing. This was reflected in firms' hiring decisions, with the rate of job shedding easing to a marginal pace," Markit economist Jack Kennedy said.

    Markit Economics also released its manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the U.K. on Wednesday. The Markit/Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply manufacturing PMI for the U.K. decreased to 51.4 in June from 51.9 in May, missing expectations for a rise to 52.5. It was the lowest level since April 2013.

    The decline was driven by declines in output and new orders.

    "The UK manufacturing sector had a disappointing second quarter overall. Growth trends in output and new orders were the weakest since the opening quarter of 2013, as a strong sterling exchange rate and subdued demand from mainland Europe offset the continued solidity of the domestic market," Markit's Senior Economist Rob Dobson said.

    The Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said on Wednesday that UK banks' direct exposure to Greece is very small. He noted that the economic growth in the U.K. has been solid and the burden of household debt has continued to decline.

    Indexes on the close:

    Name Price Change Change %

    FTSE 100 6,608.59 87.61 1.34 %

    DAX 11,180.5 235.53 2.15 %

    CAC 40 4,883.19 92.99 1.94 %


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