European Stocks Trim December Decline in Shortened Trading Day

European stocks trimmed their first December decline since 2008 amid low equity volume.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.2 percent to 341.59 at 8:12 a.m. in London, with the volume of shares changing hands being 76 percent below the 30-day average. The gauge has slipped 1.6 percent this month amid a slump in energy producers and in Greek equities as Prime Minister Antonis Samaras failed to get enough backing for his presidential candidate, leading to early elections.

Trading on the London Stock Exchange will end at 12:30 p.m. local time today, and NYSE Euronext’s European cash markets will close 35 minutes later. The Madrid bourse will stop trading at 2 p.m. local time. Exchanges in Germany, Switzerland, Italy and the Nordic countries are closed.

This month’s decline trims the Stoxx 600 advance for the year to 4.1 percent. That contrasts with the U.S., where the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Russell 2000 Index climbed to records in recent days, while the Nasdaq Composite Index reached its highest level since March 2000. It’s a third year of gains for the Stoxx 600.

Source : Bloomberg

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China’s Stock-Index Futures Rise Before HSBC Manufacturing Data

China’s stock-index futures rose before the release of a private gauge of manufacturing as the benchmark index headed for its biggest monthly advance since 2007.

Futures on the CSI 300 Index expiring in January gained 0.6 percent to 3,495 as of 9:19 a.m. local time. China CNR Corp. and CSR Corp. may jump after the two biggest trainmakers said they plan to combine through a share swap.

The Shanghai Composite Index fell from a five-year high yesterday, losing 0.1 percent to 3,165.81. The index has rallied 18 percent this month, the most among major global benchmark gauges, amid speculation the government may further ease monetary policy to spur growth. HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics will release December manufacturing data at 9:45 a.m. Economists forecast a reading of 49.5, the same as the previous month’s, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index slid 1.5 percent yesterday. The Hang Seng Index lost 1.1 percent. The CSI 300 Index advanced 0.1 percent, extending this year’s gain to 48 percent. The ChiNext index fell 2.6 percent, taking its decline since its Dec. 15 high to 12 percent.

The Shanghai Composite has rallied 50 percent this year compared with a 9.6 percent gain for its Hong Kong counterpart. It’s headed for its biggest yearly gain since 2009, bolstered by a trading link with Hong Kong and expectations the government will further ease monetary policy after unexpectedly cutting interest rates last month. Recent data have been weak, with a factory index falling to a seven-month low in December and November industrial profits slumping by the most in two years.

Source : Bloomberg

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