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European stocks mixed after Spanish auction; DAX up 0.86%

Stock MarketsDec 20, 2011 08:10AM ET
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This article has already been saved in your Saved Items - European stock markets were mixed to higher on Tuesday, as investor confidence was supported by a sharp rise in German business sentiment and a successful Spanish debt auction.

During European afternoon trade, the EURO STOXX 50 jumped 0.96%, France’s CAC 40 surged 0.98%, while Germany’s DAX 30 added 0.86%.

Stocks were boosted after German research institute Ifo said its Business Climate Index rose to a seasonally adjusted 107.2 in December from 106.6 in November, confounding expectations for a decline to 106.0.

Elsewhere, Spain saw borrowing costs fall sharply at an auction of three and six-month government bonds.

The financial sector extended earlier gains as shares in France’s BNP Paribas surged 4.15% and Societe Generale jumped 3.74%, while German lender Deutsche Bank climbed 2.52%.

Elsewhere, French chemical company Arkema saw shares soar 4.67% on news that the firm may be a takeover target for Saudi Basic Industries Corp and DuPont Co.

On the downside, Deutsche Telekom tumbled 1.37% after telecommunications giant AT&T announced late on Monday it was ending its deal to buy Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile U.S. after opposition from the U.S. government.

Fresenius Medical Care tumbled 1.85% after the world’s biggest provider of kidney dialysis predicted 2011 revenue of 1 to 2% below its USD13 billion target.

In London, FTSE 100 retreated 0.27%, after a report showed that U.K. retail sales unexpectedly rose at the fastest rate in seven months in December, but warned that sales were expected to fall sharply again after Christmas.

Financial stocks remained mixed as shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland plunged 3.14% and Lloyds Banking declined 0.96%, while HSBC Holdings rose 0.82%.

Meanwhile, British Petroleum retreated 0.67%, while mining giants Rio Tinto and Bhp Billiton saw shares climb 0.92% and 0.58%.

Elsewhere, AstraZeneca plunged 2.59% after the drugmaker said full-year earnings will be at the low end of its previous forecast.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a sharply higher open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a rise of 0.75%, S&P 500 futures signaled a 1.01% jump, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.91% surge.

Also Tuesday, a report by Gfk showed that an index of Germany's consumer climate was unchanged at 5.6 in December, confounding expectations for a decline to 5.5 as income and economic expectations both improved.

European stocks mixed after Spanish auction; DAX up 0.86%

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