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European stocks steady to higher on U.S. budget hopes; Dax up 0.06%

Stock MarketsDec 28, 2012 03:22AM ET
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Investing.com - European stocks opened steady to higher on Friday, after upbeat French consumer spending data, while investors hoped for progress in key U.S. budget negotiations.

During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 inched up 0.06%, France’s CAC 40 edged 0.07% higher, while Germany’s DAX 30 added 0.06%.

Official data earlier showed that French consumer spending rose 0.2% in November, more than the expected 0.1% increase and following a 0.1% fall the previous month.

In the U.S., President Barack Obama was to meet congressional leaders later Friday at the White House for last-minute talks on a "fiscal cliff" deal to avoid automatic tax increases and broad spending cuts that threaten the US economy's recovery.

The meeting comes just four days before the government goes over the so-called fiscal cliff, assuming no deal is reached. Without a deal, the U.S. could fall back into recession and drag much of the world down with it.

Financial stocks were mixed as France saw shares in Societe Generale climb 0.52% and BNP Paribas slip 0.09%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank inched up 0.06% and Commerzbank fell 0.21%.

Elsewhere, Vinci added 0.14% after Portugal agreed to sell state-owned airport operator ANA- Aeroportos de Portugal SA to the company.

On the downside, Atari saw shares plunge 7.37% after the video-game maker said it sees a “significant” fiscal-year loss. Atari also said it sees its second-half operating loss exceeding its loss in the first half and that it is looking at all additional means of raising or preserving cash.

In London, commodity-heavy FTSE 100 rose 0.31%, boosted by gains in mining stocks.

Mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto rallied 0.85% and 0.86%, while rival Vedanta Resources jumped 1.07%.

Copper producers added to gains, as shares in Xstrata and Kazakhmys advanced 0.58% and 1.16%.

Meanwhile, U.K. lenders tracked their European counterparts higher. HSBC Holdings rose 0.39% and Lloyds Banking climbed 0.47%, while Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland advanced 0.60% and 0.69%.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a higher open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.12% rise, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.17% increase, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.06% gain.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to publish data on pending home sales, as well as a report on business conditions in the Chicago area and official data on crude oil stockpiles and natural gas inventories.

European stocks steady to higher on U.S. budget hopes; Dax up 0.06%

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