European stock markets were higher after the open in subdued trade on Tuesday, as volumes remained light ahead of the Christmas holiday.
During European morning trade, France’s CAC 40 inched up 0.3%, while London’s FTSE 100 added 0.4%. Markets in London were to close at 12:30 p.m. London time, or 7:30 a.m. Eastern Time, while markets in France are due to close around 1 p.m. London time.
Several other European stock markets are fully closed for trade. Bourses in Germany, Italy, Greece, Switzerland and Scandinavia are all set to remain shut.
Market sentiment remained supported amid indications the U.S. economic recovery is deepening. The Commerce Department said Monday that U.S. personal spending rose 0.5% last month, the highest since June.
Market players looked ahead to U.S. data on durable goods orders and new home sales later in the day to gauge if the U.S. economy will be strong enough to allow the Federal Reserve to continue withdrawing support through 2014.
Global equities rallied last week after the Fed announced that it would reduce its USD85 billion-a-month bond buying program by USD10 billion in January.
In France, sentiment got an additional boost after official data showed that consumer spending rose 1.4% in November, the first increase in four months and easily surpassing expectations for a 0.4% gain.
Separate data confirmed that France’s economy grew 0.1% in the third quarter, while the second quarter figure was revised up to a 0.6% gain from a previous estimate of 0.5%.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a steady open, after the Dow closed at a fresh record high on Monday, while the Nasdaq climbed to the highest level in 13 years.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.1% rise, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.07% increase, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.08% climb.
Meanwhile, in Asia, stock markets were broadly higher amid mounting optimism over the health of the U.S. economy and after the People’s Bank of China injected liquidity to the financial system.
The PBOC injected USD4.7 billion through open-market operations for the first time in three weeks on Tuesday, sending borrowing costs to around 5.5%, well off the previous day’s high of nearly 9%.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei rallied to the highest level since 2007 before trimming gains as traders monitored movements in the currency market. USD/JPY rose to hit a daily high of 104.40, before pulling back to hit 104.18.
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