Despite concerns that a deal would be forestalled by the absence of European finance ministers, the region's heads of state managed to negotiate the basis of an agreement that could begin to resolve the Greek debt crisis, according to Reuters.
The deal would see private banks in the euro zone voluntarily accepting a 50 percent mark down on their Greek bonds. The move should reduce Greek debt by around €100 billion, or more than $140 billion. By 2020, this should reduce the country's debt-to-GDP ratio by around one-quarter.
There are some lingering concerns about implementation and whether the reduction will prove large enough, but Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou expressed confidence. A Reuters poll of economists found roughly equal positive and negative outlooks for Greece.
The New York Times reports that markets overall responded positively to news of the deal, rising only 2 percent in the U.S., but as much as 6 percent in France and 5.1 percent in Germany.
Some of the optimism also stems from growing hope that China could become involved in the solving the debt crisis.