European stocks advance in subdued Christmas trade

GMT 13:19 2014 Tuesday ,23 December

Arab Today, arab today European stocks advance in subdued Christmas trade

European equities
London - AFP

European equities rose in thin holiday trade Tuesday as dealers eyed a record US gains despite sharp falls in Asia, with Frankfurt ahead before its early Christmas shutdown.
In late morning deals, London's FTSE 100 index of top shares rose 0.35 percent to 6,599.48 points and the Paris CAC 40 won 0.62 percent to 4,280.84 compared with Monday's close.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 index drifted 0.16 percent higher to 9,881.94 points.
The euro edged up to $1.2237, having dived to $1.2220 on Monday, matching Friday's two-year low point.
All three European indices had risen strongly on Monday, in another "Santa Claus rally" day for global equity markets cheered by last week's US Federal Reserve meeting which eased fears of an imminent interest rate hike.
- Festive shutdown looms -
"Yesterday’s gains on Wall Street have given the FTSE-100 something of a lift," said analyst Tony Cross at trading firm Trustnet Direct.
The Frankfurt stock market closes for Christmas at the end of trade today, while London and Paris will shut down at lunchtime on Wednesday. All three markets reopen for business on Monday.
Trade was thin with many investors away for an extended festive break for Christmas and New Year holidays.
In Asia, however, China led a slump on Tuesday, with Shanghai registering one of its biggest percentage falls of the year and banks among the biggest losers there.
Dealers said a recent run-up following a surprise Chinese interest rate cut had created room for a market correction.
Shanghai dived 3.03 percent and the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, fell 1.39 percent.
Hong Kong ended down 0.32 percent, Sydney dropped 61.1 points and Seoul slipped 0.21 percent. Tokyo was closed for a public holiday.
"The (Shanghai) market climbed too fast in such a short time after the November interest rate cut, which has caused some structural problems in the market," Shenyin & Wanguo Securities analyst Gui Haoming told AFP.
The market had jumped more than 20 percent since the cut to interest rates last month -- rising above the 3,000 mark on December 16 for the first time in three and a half years.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China lost 4.88 percent to 4.48 yuan while China Construction Bank fell 5.01 percent to 6.26 yuan.
The slide in Asia came despite a positive lead Monday from Wall Street, which remained buoyed by a Federal Reserve meeting last week. There were also high hopes of more good news from a heavy day of economic data releases Tuesday.
- Fed delivers boost -
Last Wednesday the Fed kept interest rates low and left in place expectations that it may wait until mid-2015 before raising them.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and broad-based S&P 500 hit new highs late Monday.
The Dow jumped 0.87 percent to 17,959.44 points, almost a point above the previous record. The S&P 500 advanced 0.38 percent to 2,078.54 points, about three points above the previous high on December 5.
Investors are meanwhile looking to the release on Tuesday of US economic reports, including the third estimate of third-quarter gross domestic product and durable goods orders for November.
In Tuesday deals on the London Bullion Market, gold fell to $1,181.11 per ounce from $1,195.25 on Monday.

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