European shares ended off session high on Wednesday, in thin trade, as investors pared gains on a report euro zone officials were considering delaying the second Greek bailout until after the country holds elections in April.
The market had earlier hit six month highs after the Greek conservative party gave a commitment letter to the European Union and IMF on implementing the new austerity package.
"The market does not like it - if Greece cannot get a bailout by mid-March it effectively has a messy default," said Richard Batty, strategist at Standard Life Investments, which has $248.37 billion of assets under management.
Gold hits 3-1/2 week high
Gold hit a 3-1/2 week high on Thursday and silver rose nearly 3 percent as escalating tensions in the Middle East knocked stocks and the dollar and drove investors into assets viewed as lower risk, s
$67m compensation for Almarai
Saudi Arabia's Almarai, the Gulf's largest dairy company, received 250 million riyals ($66.7m) from an insurer in compensation for a fire at one of its bakeries, it said yesterday.
$205m raised from sukuk by HSBC unit
The Malaysian Islamic banking arm of HSBC Holdings has raised 750 million ringgit ($205m) from the sale of five-year Islamic bonds (sukuk) at a yield of 4.24 per cent, IFR reported yesterday.