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European shares rally on hopes of Greek debt deal

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Tsipras, who promised on Saturday to stick by Greece's financial obligations, is seeking to repair damage after a rocky first week. (REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

Tsipras, who promised on Saturday to stick by Greece's financial obligations, is seeking to repair damage after a rocky first week. (REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

Tsipras, who promised on Saturday to stick by Greece's financial obligations, is seeking to repair damage after a rocky first week. (REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

European stocks rose early today, lifted by hopes for an agreement on the Greek debt standoff after the country's new government dropped calls for a write-off of its foreign debt and proposed swapping debt for growth-linked bonds.

Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, in London to reassure private investors that he was not seeking a showdown with Brussels over a new debt agreement, said the new left-wing government would spare privately held bonds from losses, a source told Reuters.

At 0802 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.5 percent at 1,473.10 points.

Spain's Santander rose 1.6 percent after the euro zone's biggest bank reported a nearly 70 percent jump in fourth quarter profit, lifted by earnings from its lending business and as charges on soured loans fell.

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