French stocks closed year 2012 in a blaze of glory as fears over unresolved financial troubles eased over the European Central Bank's stimulus plan and eurozone leaders' determination to prevent the explosion of the single-currency bloc.
Trading for half session on Monday, Paris benchmark index CAC 40 closed in green at 3,641 points, up by 0.58 percent but with a tepid volume of 663 million euros (875 million U.S. dollars).
Despite an anemic year tainted by scanty growth, weak industrial output and rampant unemployment rate, Paris stocks recorded a remarkable improvement "as the market could be ahead of the macroeconomic data and therefore anticipate a recovery," according to Xavier Patrolin director of Albatross Capital.
"We expect markets growth in 2013 as eventual declines in profits of listed firms would be offset by a transfer of expectation next year," he said.
As to its yearly performance, after a choppy first six months of 2012 during which concerns of fruitless official attempts to stem debt crisis and the threat of recession weakened transactions, investors become more confident after European Bank President 's Mario Draghi ensured last July that "the ECB is ready to do whatever is necessary within the framework of its mandate to protect the euro."
Furthermore, earlier this month, European leaders agreed to create a single banking supervisor for the euro zone, hailed as landmark step towards a stable economic and monetary union. A positive note ahead the new year.
"The low point of the economic situation has undoubtedly been achieved because the situation in the eurozone seems stabilizing. Things are not better but also they are not worsening. Moreover, expected good indicators mainly in China would be favorable to a return of investors' appetite for risks," Remi Le Bailly, financial analyst at Investir told Xinhua.
"Even if the companies' financial results would be as the previous fiscal year, European stocks will surge," he added.
At the closing bell of 2012's last trading session, the European index EuroStoxx gained 0.35 percent and went up by 13.8 percent for the whole year of 2012.
To Philippe Waechter, chief economist at Natixis Asset Management, 2013 will be "interesting " as "a large part of the risk aversion disappeared" with investors expected to further focus on companies' benefits and growth.
According to Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the global economy will accelerate by 3.4 percent next year down from a previous forecast of 4.2. However, Chinese strong economic data and news on a close agreement on U.S. "fiscal cliff" deal would offer investors the opportunity to start the New Year with an optimistic mood.