Leaders of the Eurozone countries have agreed a new bailout deal for debt-stricken Greece worth 109 billion euros, or $155 billion.
The deal includes loans from private lenders, giving Greece more favourable repayment terms. The deal is also good for Ireland, with the country’s interest repayments cut by 2%. Shares across Europe rose on the news.
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Microsoft in 30% earnings hike
Microsoft has reported a 30% jump in fourth-quarter earnings, with increased sales spearheaded by the company’s entertainment and online offerings.
Earnings rose to $5.87 billion from $4.52 billion last year, pushing Microsoft’s shares up by 2%. The software giant has seen strong demand for its Windows 7 platform, as well as its latest Office offering and its Kinect gaming device.
Google conjures up Harry Potter deal
Author JK Rowling has partnered with Google to provide the Harry Potter series of books online.
Rowling snubbed potential deals with Apple and PayPal in order to launch the new Pottermore website with Google. The seven Harry Potter books will be made available via Google’s eBooks reader.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 152.50 points to 12,724.41. The Australian dollar was up marginally to 107.38 US cents.