EU emergency stability measures send stocks soaring in Helsinki and abroad
Shares on the Helsinki Exchanges took off in a steep climb on Monday morning on the back of the EUR 500 billion stability package agreed on by the eurozone's finance ministers in Brussels over the weekend.
By 12:00 the OMXH Index had soared 7.4% from its morning opening level of 11,243.
The biggest gainers in active early trading were financial group Pohjola (up nearly 19%), and Nordea Bank was also up by 12%.
Several industrial shares showed double-digit gains, and Nokia, too, had put on close to 6% from its opening price by around noon.
Similar rises are anticipated on other European bourses, with analysts forecasting shares in London, Frankfurt, and Paris would see rises of between 3 and 5%, following overnight enthusiasm for the EU moves from Asian markets.
The worsening situation in Greece and worries that the country might default on its loans expanded last week into worldwide uncertainty over the future of a recovery from recession, leading to heavy falls on global exchanges.
Last week's declines in Europe were the biggest in a single week since the financial meltdown of November 2008.
In the early hours of Monday morning, the EU countries reached an accord on the hundreds of billions of euros in loan guarantees and emergency European Commission funding to ensure that the Greek sovereign debt malaise does not spread to infect other areas of the Union.
The loan arrangements can be used to aid other financially-troubled EU members running large deficits that might find it impossible to secure loans at reasonable rates from the international market.
Last week the euro weakened noticeably against other currencies as fears of contagion spreading from Greece, for instance to Spain and Portugal, caused a flight away from the common currency.
On Monday the euro powered back, surging nearly four cents and 3% against the dollar to climb over the $1.30 mark once again.
The euro was also up against sterling, as Great Britain - another European Union member state facing an uncomfortably large budget deficit - wrestled with the aftermath of an election that produced no clear majority for the Conservatives and the prospects of either an unstable minority administration or a coalition government that might not have the stomach for the necessary tough measures required in the coming years.
The pound was also up against the dollar on Monday, but more on the back of international sentiment than for any domestic reasons, as the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats still sought to work out ways of governing the country for the next five years.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Parliament argues over giant loan to Greece (5.5.2010)
SDP urges even Finnish banks to assume responsibility for Greek crisis (7.5.2010)
OMX Helsinki General Index
Reuters: Rescue plan sparks stocks rally, euro gains