Stocks Gain as Greece Talks Progress

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) --- Global stocks extended gains on Friday as the Greek government proposed a broad financial overhaul to its creditors and Beijing's attempts to arrest a sharp slide in the Chinese market appeared to be working.

KEEPING SCORE: European markets opened higher, with Britain's FTSE 100 up 0.9 percent to 6,639.08. France's CAC 40 gained 2.3 percent to 4,864.69 and Germany's DAX added 1.6 percent to 11,173.82. Futures indicated a strong start for Wall Street. S&P 500 futures advanced 1 percent. Dow futures rose 0.9 percent.

GREEK SAGA: Greece and its European creditors appeared to be narrowing their differences after Athens offered a raft of proposals to reduce the cost of pensions, hike taxes and cut state spending. The proposals raised hopes that Greece can get a rescue deal that will prevent its exit from the euro. Its European creditors said they were open to discussing how to ease the country's debt load.

THE QUOTE: "Greece's proposal to its European creditors appears to significantly improve the prospects for a weekend agreement on extending further credit," said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets. He said an agreement between Greece and its creditors is still not certain. But Greece proposing a fiscal package along the lines of the one recently demanded by its European creditors is a "significant step in the direction of compromise."

CHINA SURGE: Chinese stocks jumped for a second day following a three-week slide that authorities tried to arrest with increasingly desperate support measures. The Official Xinhua News Agency said more than a third of companies listed on the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges surged by the daily limit of 10 percent on Friday. The Shanghai Composite Index has dived about 30 percent from its June 12 peak.

ASIA'S DAY: Asian markets finished higher but most were still in the red from a week earlier. China's Shanghai Composite Index jumped 4.5 percent to 3,877.80. The index was down 0.9 percent from one week earlier. South Korea's Kospi advanced 0.2 percent to 2,031.17 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 2.1 percent to 24,901.28. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.4 percent to 5,492.00. Japan lagged, with the Nikkei 225 finishing 0.4 percent lower at 19,779.83.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 27 cents to $53.05 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained $1.13 to close at $52.78 a barrel in New York on Thursday. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, rose 44 cents to $59.07 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The euro strengthened to $1.1114 from $1.1065 in the previous global trading session. The dollar rose to 122.13 yen from 121.71 yen.