LONDON — European markets closed on a high Thursday, in anticipation of a new set of debt-busting reforms set to be unveiled by Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras later today.
The FTSE MIB in Milan gained the most ground, climbing 3.5 percent to 22,268.51, followed by the CAC 40 in Paris, up 2.6 percent to 4,757.22, and the DAX in Frankfurt, up 2.3 percent to 10,996.41. The FTSE 100 in London rose 1.4 percent to 6,581.63.
The euro traded at $1.10, while the pound fetched $1.54, and the Swiss franc equaled $1.06 at 7:10 p.m. Central European Time.
Retail and luxury stocks were also broadly higher, including department store Debenhams, rising 4.2 percent to 0.84 pounds; Next, 1.7 percent to 73.55 pounds, and Gemfields, 1.8 percent to 0.55 pounds.
Among the stocks that gained the most ground were Associated British Foods, parent of Primark, which shot up 5.1 percent to 30.80 pounds after the company reported a 2 percent rise in group revenue in the 40 weeks to June 20.
Sales at Primark were 13 percent ahead of last year at constant currency, driven by an increase in selling space of 8 percent and by “very high sales densities” in stores opened in the last year, the company said.
As a result of the weakening of the euro against the pound, total sales were 9 percent ahead of the same period last year at actual exchange rates.
The company confirmed that preparations are “well advanced” for the opening of its first U.S. store in September, at Downtown Crossing in Boston, while European expansion will continue with the opening of up to three stores in Italy, the first of which is planned to open in early summer 2016 in a new shopping center in Arese, northwest of Milan.
Other climbers included Moncler, up 4.6 percent to 16.10 euros; Safilo Group, 3.6 percent to 12.26 euros; Yoox Group, 3.5 percent to 28.61 euros; The Swatch Group, 3.3 percent to 71 Swiss francs, and Luxottica, 2.8 percent to 60.10 euros.
Greece’s prime minister has until the end of the day today to present a package of proposals aimed at securing a third bailout for his debt-laden country. European Union leaders will evaluate them, and Greece’s future in the euro zone, over the weekend.