LONDON, Nov 20 (Reuters) - European equities edged higher on
Tuesday, building on the previous session's strong gains and
bolstered by expectations that euro zone finance ministers will
approve the next tranche of bailout cash for Greece.
Top officials signalled they were hopeful the Tuesday
evening meeting would result in a solution, avoiding a fresh
escalation of the euro zone crisis and the threat of bankruptcy
for Athens. However, issues remain and a deal on debt reduction
may be subject to more negotiations.
"It's just short covering ahead of this evening's meeting of
EU finance ministers," said Markus Huber, trader at ETX.
"They have basically promised that they would find a
solution ... It's a typical pattern - ahead of the meetings you
always go up, and then they usually disappoint and we come back
the next day."
The FTSEurofirst 300 provisionally closed up 0.3
percent at 1,094.35 points, with its rebound from a session low
of 1,087.08 points also supported by stronger than expected U.S.
housing starts data and gains on Wall Street.