The euro and European stock markets edged higher on Tuesday as traders grew hopeful a resolution could be found to enable a second bailout deal for Greece, although poor results for some top European firms rekindled fears about the impact of the crisis.

Greece's prime minister and the leaders of the major political parties are set to resume talks today on new austerity measures demanded by the EU in return for a second bail-out. The deal needs to be approved by February 15 if the money is to be available in time to meet a March 20 bond redemption.

In early European trade the euro gained 0.2 percent to $1.3156, after hitting an overnight low of $1.3026, while European stocks turned up after a flat opening.

The Australian dollar jumped to a six-month high of $1.0812 after the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) confounded expectations of a rate cut. It is one of three central banks meeting this week, all of which have been acting to support an improving global economic outlook with easier monetary policy.


World interest rates:

Euro zone in graphics


(Editing by Patrick Graham)