European stocks mixed on year's last trading day with dim fiscal cliff hopes
AFPLONDON--European stock markets diverged on Monday, the final trading day of 2012 amid fading hopes of a deal to avert the U.S. fiscal cliff of sharp tax hikes and spending cuts.
January 1, 2013, 12:59 am TWN
The London and Paris markets were operating for only half a day, resulting in thin trading volumes, while the Frankfurt DAX 30 closed for the year on Friday, with Germany's main index gaining 29 percent in value during 2012.
Frankfurt soared over the course of the year after staging a sustained rally in late 2012 on eurozone debt progress and fresh stimulus moves by the US Federal Reserve, analysts said.
In late morning deals Monday, London's benchmark FTSE 100 was down 0.40 percent at 5,901.7 points, having risen almost six percent over the year.
The Paris CAC 40 was showing a gain of 0.38 percent to 3,633.96 points, having won 15 percent in 2012.
Madrid has lost more than five percent since January while Milan has climbed 8 percent, as Spain and Italy battle with national debt strains.
“Despite signs of economic strength in China ... the mood in the markets is rather subdued — all because of the fiscal cliff impasse across the pond,” said Gekko Global Markets trader Anita Paluch, explaining Monday's trading performance.
In foreign exchange deals, the euro fell to US$1.3194 from US$1.3217 late in New York on Friday. Gold prices rose to US$1,666.80 an ounce on the London Bullion Market from US$1,657.50 Friday.
The single currency has risen by about 2 percent in value against the U.S. dollar in 2012.