Eurozone hopes are growing as shares rise
European shares have risen strongly on growing hopesthat eurozone leaders and the International MonetaryFund (IMF) will agree a comprehensive package to solvethe eurozone debt crisis.The optimism follows after talks at G20 and IMF meetingsat the weekend. A number of ideas were reportedlydiscussed, including a 50% write-down of Greek government debts.Germany's Dax index and France's Cac were both up 3.2%. The UK's FTSE was 2.2% higher. Earlier, Asianstocks had also risen, with Japan's main Nikkei index ending up 2.8%.The increased optimism comes despite European Union officials stressing that no grand plan of actionwas agreed at the weekend.Investors are instead focusing on what was reportedly proposed at the meetings, which is also said tohave included strengthening big European banks that could be hit by any defaults on national debtobligations. Another reported proposal is to boost the size of the eurozone bailout fund, the EuropeanFinancial Stability Facility.On Thursday, Germany will vote on whether to approve proposals set out in July to extend the powersof the EFSF that would allow it to buy the bonds of highly-indebted countries, and to make creditavailable to both governments and under-capitalised banks.Banking stocks were among the biggest risers across Europe. In France, BNP Paribas was up 9.7%,Societe Generale 8.3%, Natixis 7.7% and Credit Agricole 7.4%. In Germany, Deutsche Bank had risen7.6% and Commerzbank by 6.5%. The UK's Royal Bank of Scotland was 1% higher.Oil prices also rose, as fears eased about the extent to which the eurozone debt crisis could affect theglobal economy.US light crude oil was up $2.16 to $82.40 a barrel, while Brent crude rose $1.75 to $105.69.The spot price of gold was up 2% to $1,659.99, but analysts said this was led by the US dollar falling invalue, thereby making the previous metal slightly more affordable for holders of other currencies.Keith Bowman, markets analyst at financial services group Hargreaves Lansdown, cautioned that the risein share prices may prove shortlived."The optimists have taken the forefront on hopes that we could see European politicians getting to gripswith the current situation over the coming weeks," he said."But there are still a lot of concerns. Investors remain sceptical about the success of the measures beingplanned to resolve the eurozone credit crisis.The most concerning economic problem is still the debt crisis in Greece. The European Commission, theEuropean Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are due in Athens this week toreview Greece's progress in cutting its debt levels.