Europe stocks swing before Greek talks as oil heads to weekly loss

By Nick Gentle and Yuji Nakamura

Europe?s benchmark equity index traded near a seven-year high and the euro fell before talks on further funding for Greece resume, while oil headed for its first weekly loss in a month as record US supplies reinforced concern over a glut. Japanese stocks extended a 15-year high.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was little changed by 8:17 a.m. in London, as the euro weakened 0.4 percent versus the dollar. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average added 0.4 percent, while US index futures were little changed. Oil in New York headed for a 2.4 percent loss for the week. Gold was set for a fourth weekly drop and nickel traded at a one-year low.

Euro-area finance ministers hold emergency talks with Greek officials on Friday amid increasing pressure to find a compromise on maintaining funding to the indebted country. German producer prices fell more than projected in January while preliminary gauges of European and US manufacturing are due. Rebels attacked Ukrainian positions 49 times in the past 24 hours, the Ukrainian Security and Defense Council said in a statement on Facebook.

?We?ve been worrying about Greece and Ukraine for a long time and nothing has surfaced yet, so if it does, there could be a big shock to the market,? said Tomomi Yamashita, who helps oversee the equivalent of $6.3 billion at Shinkin Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. ?At least here in Japan it seems we?re managing to overcome that thanks to a stronger economic outlook, confidence in earnings, and expectations of higher wages for workers at big companies.?

Europe Stocks

The euro bought $1.1323 on Friday. It seems premature to look for a deal at Friday?s talks, with negotiations likely for at least another week, currency strategists at BNP...

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