LONDON — Markets across Europe were on the upswing in midmorning trading on Thursday as Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras prepared to unveil a fresh set of proposals aimed at harnessing a third bailout from creditors and ensuring Greece remains a member of the euro zone.
The CAC 40 in Paris led the charge, advancing 1.1 percent to 4,691.63, followed by the DAX in Frankfurt, 0.9 percent to 10,839.19, and the FTSE MIB in Milan, 0.7 percent to 21,666.34. The FTSE 100 in London climbed 0.5 percent to 6,523.77.
The euro traded at $1.10, while the pound fetched $1.54 and the Swiss franc fetched $1.06 at 10:45 a.m. CET.
Retail and luxury stocks were mostly up, with the exception of some British retailers including flash sales site MySale Group, which fell 4.8 percent to 0.50 pounds; department store Debenhams, 3.1 percent to 0.85 pounds, and Next 2.5 percent to 72.90. Gemfields was down 2.7 percent to 0.55 pounds.
Among the day’s biggest gainers were Associated British Foods, owner of Primark, which climbed 3.5 percent to 30.32 pounds after reporting 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 Primark’s 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 for the early summer 2016 in a new shopping center in Arese, northwest of Milan.
Other stocks on the uptick included Salvatore Ferragamo, 2.5 percent to 25.03 euros; Swatch Group, 2.6 percent to 70.55 Swiss francs, and Asos.com, 1.6 percent to 35.09 pounds.
The Greek prime minister has until the end of the day to present his debt-busting proposals to creditors, and European Union leaders are set to discuss them in a meeting on Sunday, when they will decide the future of Greece in the euro zone.
Greece is seeking a third bailout before its 3 billion euro payment is due to the European Central Bank on July 20, and will also present proposals aimed at reducing and restructuring its debt.