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Stocks rise after Europe debts vow

World stock markets have perked up after a weekend meeting of the leaders of France and Germany provided a promise of action on Europe's debt crisis.

Oil prices rose above 84 US dollars (£53.66) a barrel while the dollar slipped against the euro and the yen.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Sunday that a comprehensive response to the debt crisis would be finalised by the end of the month, including a detailed plan to ensure European banks have adequate capital.

Stock markets welcomed the announcement, even though it offered little in the way of specifics.

In early European trading, the FTSE 100 rose 0.6% to 5,334.59. Germany's DAX gained 0.5% to 5,704.35 and France's CAC-40 climbed 0.5% to 3,110.99. Wall Street was poised for a higher opening, with Dow Jones industrial futures up 0.9% at 11,166 and S&P 500 futures rising 1% to 1,166.

Shares in Asia were higher after a tentative start. Hong Kong's Hang Seng pared early losses to edge up marginally at 17,711.06. South Korea's Kospi rose 0.4% to 1,766.44 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.9% to 4,201.

The Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.6% at 2,344.79 and the Shenzhen Composite Index for China's smaller second stock market was 0.6% lower at 997.84.

Stocks in the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia and India rose. Markets in Japan and Taiwan were closed for national holidays.

Investors were treading carefully as Greece struggled with its finances to qualify for the next instalment of an international bailout loan needed to avoid bankruptcy. A Greek government default would cause the value of Greek bonds held by European and US banks to plunge in value with possible global repercussions.

"After so many months, it still is not clear how leaders are going to resolve" the European debt crisis, said Lee Kok Joo, head of research at Phillip Securities in Singapore. "I think a lot of investors are just waiting to see what the next step is that some of these leaders will take."

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