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European Markets Recover After Greek Reform Package Approved

The European markets ended Friday’s session with modest gains, recovering some of the lost ground from the previous two days. However, the markets suffered their worst week since November due to the mid-week sell-off. The FTSE 100 of the UK was a notable exception. The market strung together four straight days of gains, helped by a mini flash crash in the value of the pound on Thursday.

The Trump administration took the first step toward renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, which helped to ease concerns over the President’s ability to deliver on his economic agenda.

Investors were also encouraged by the continued rise in crude oil prices, which climbed back above $50 a barrel at the end of the trading week.

Greece’s lawmakers approved a reforms package on Thursday that includes pension cuts and tax hikes as demanded by the country’s lenders in return for unlocking another tranche of bailout funds and to start discussions over debt relief.

The parliament nod came ahead of the Eurogroup meeting on May 22 when euro area finance ministers would consider disbursement of the bailout funds and discuss debt relief.

At the start of the month, Greece had reached a deal with its international creditors on reforms, thus paving the way for the disbursement of the next tranche of funds from the EUR 86 billion bailout agreed in 2015 and the start of talks on a possible debt relief.

It was these reforms that lawmakers approved on Thursday even as demonstrators, mainly public-sector trade unions, staged protests outside the parliament and hurled firebombs at police who responded with tear gas.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index advanced 0.57 percent. The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone blue chip stocks increased 0.70 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, added 0.45 percent.

The DAX of Germany climbed 0.39 percent and the CAC 40 of France rose 0.66 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. gained 0.46 percent and the SMI of…

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