Wall Street opens higher on Greek deal hopes, Nasdaq hits new record high

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Wall Street opened higher on Monday, with the Nasdaq Composite index hitting a new record high, after optimism grew that Greece may be able to strike a last-minute deal with its international creditors to avert a default.

Nasdaq touched a high of 5,156.98, surpassing the previous high of 5,143.32 it had set last week.

Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem said proposals from Greece were positive and could be the basis of an agreement later this week.

EU Economic Commissioner Pierre Moscovici earlier said he was "convinced" that euro zone leaders who held an emergency meeting in Brussels would find a way out of the Greek crisis.

Athens needs fresh funds to avoid defaulting on a US$1.8 billion (S$ 2.4 billion) debt repayment to the International Monetary Fund on June 30, and a possible exit from the euro zone.

Global stocks were higher on Monday with European shares hitting their highest level in over a week. "The Greece situation has a psychological effect on investors," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York.

"If Greece were to exit the euro, it raises speculation on the future of its peripheral nations and so if we do see a breakthrough in the talk, expect the markets to rally."

U.S. stocks closed lower on Friday as Greek worries weighed but the three major indexes were higher for the week on hopes that the U.S. Federal Reserve's planned rate hike will be slower than previously anticipated.

Sales of previously owned homes likely recovered last month, data from the National Association of Realtors is expected to show.