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Dec. 27, 2017, 12:35 p.m. EST

European stocks close higher as traders return from Christmas break in upbeat mood

U.K.’s FTSE 100 closes at all-time high

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By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch


Getty Images/iStock

European stocks finished slightly higher on Wednesday, with U.K. stocks leading the charge north to end at an all-time high as commodity companies rallied.

What are markets doing: On the first trading day after the Christmas holidays, the Stoxx Europe 600 index /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -3.67%  rose 0.1% to close at 390.54.

The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -3.64%  rose 0.4% to 7,620.68 scoring a record closing high.

Germany’s DAX 30 index /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX -4.15% ended marginally lower at 13,070.02, while France’s CAC 40 index /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 -4.75%  rose 0.1% to 5,368.84.

The euro /zigman2/quotes/210561242/realtime/sampled EURUSD +0.9635%  rose to $1.1896 from $1.1859 late Tuesday in New York.

“A thin volume trading is a general theme across the markets,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets, in a note.

“Most traders are away on their holiday and we do not expect much action in the markets, however, the general portfolio rebalancing trade would be the most common feature between now and the end of this year,” he added.

Stock movers: Mining firms helped lift markets, tracking positive moves for most metals prices. Copper  advanced for a 15th straight sessions, up 0.2%.

Among miners, shares of Fresnillo PLC /zigman2/quotes/201300065/delayed UK:FRES -0.55%  rose 3.5%, Randgold Resources Ltd.   /zigman2/quotes/201432642/composite GOLD -0.05%  climbed 1.9% and Glencore PLC /zigman2/quotes/201400686/delayed UK:GLEN -5.50%   /zigman2/quotes/209462106/composite GLCNF -5.47%  added 2.1%.

Shares of IWG PLC /zigman2/quotes/207263311/delayed UK:IWG -5.93%  rallied 27% after the global workplace provider said it has received an indicative offer proposal from funds managed by affiliates of Brookfield Asset Management Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202267951/delayed CA:BAM.A -2.17% and Onex Corp. /zigman2/quotes/208667729/delayed CA:ONEX -1.80% .

Saipem SpA /zigman2/quotes/203593562/delayed IT:SPM -4.99%  gained 3.7% after the Italian oil-and-gas contractor late Friday said it has signed several contracts for onshore and offshore projects valued around $380 million.

Shares of Royal Dutch Shell PLC /zigman2/quotes/204253697/delayed UK:RDSB -5.64%   /zigman2/quotes/207682964/composite RDS.B -5.36%  gained 0.7% after the major oil company said the potential effect from the U.S. tax reform will be favorable. The company also said it expects a charge to its fourth-quarter earnings of $2 billion to $2.5 billion following the changes to in the U.S.

In the same vein, Barclays PLC /zigman2/quotes/208409333/delayed UK:BARC -7.08%   /zigman2/quotes/206581728/composite BCS -5.04%  said it expects to book a 1 billion pound ($1.3 billion) charge to its 2017 accounts following the changes in the U.S., which will also reduce its Core Equity Tier 1 ratio by 20 basis points. Barclays shares closed 0.3% higher on Wednesday.

The reason European companies are taking hits from the tax reform stateside is because of the adjustment in their deferred taxes. Companies can log deferred tax assets during loss-making quarters and then use them to offset future tax payments, essentially working as tax credits in the U.S. However, those assets will be worth less on paper when the tax reform comes into effect and as the headline corporate tax rate falls to 21% from 35%.

/zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed
XX : STOXX
464.05
-17.67 -3.67%
Volume: 0.00
Nov. 26, 2021 11:03p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
7,044.03
-266.34 -3.64%
Volume: 1.33M
Nov. 26, 2021 4:44p
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/zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed
DAX
DX : Xetra Indices
15,257.04
-660.94 -4.15%
Volume: 133,308
Nov. 26, 2021 6:30p
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/zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed
FR : France: Euronext Paris
6,739.73
-336.14 -4.75%
Volume: 159,605
Nov. 26, 2021 6:05p
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/zigman2/quotes/210561242/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
1.1318
+0.0108 +0.9635%
Volume: 0.0000
Nov. 26, 2021 4:59p
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/zigman2/quotes/201300065/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
906.80 p
-5.00 -0.55%
Volume: 624,430
Nov. 26, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
14.70
Dividend Yield
2.62%
Market Cap
£6.68 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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/zigman2/quotes/201432642/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 19.38
-0.01 -0.05%
Volume: 13.97M
Nov. 26, 2021 1:10p
P/E Ratio
17.40
Dividend Yield
1.86%
Market Cap
$34.00 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201400686/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
352.00 p
-20.50 -5.50%
Volume: 48.63M
Nov. 26, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
32.20
Dividend Yield
2.56%
Market Cap
£46.20 billion
Rev. per Employee
£765,499
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/zigman2/quotes/209462106/composite
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 4.75
-0.27 -5.47%
Volume: 29,431
Nov. 26, 2021 12:44p
P/E Ratio
31.96
Dividend Yield
3.37%
Market Cap
$61.61 billion
Rev. per Employee
$981,641
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/zigman2/quotes/207263311/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
280.80 p
-17.70 -5.93%
Volume: 3.41M
Nov. 26, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
£2.83 billion
Rev. per Employee
£206,683
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/zigman2/quotes/202267951/delayed
CA : Canada: Toronto
$ 73.59
-1.63 -2.17%
Volume: 1.93M
Nov. 26, 2021 5:00p
P/E Ratio
27.30
Dividend Yield
0.90%
Market Cap
$115.41 billion
Rev. per Employee
$560,673
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/zigman2/quotes/208667729/delayed
CA : Canada: Toronto
$ 95.91
-1.76 -1.80%
Volume: 116,856
Nov. 26, 2021 5:00p
P/E Ratio
3.78
Dividend Yield
0.42%
Market Cap
$8.37 billion
Rev. per Employee
$790,747
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/zigman2/quotes/203593562/delayed
IT : Italy: Milan
1.78
-0.09 -4.99%
Volume: 18.28M
Nov. 26, 2021 5:35p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
€1.77 billion
Rev. per Employee
€248,696
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/zigman2/quotes/204253697/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
£ 1,556.40
-93.00 -5.64%
Volume: 7.99M
Nov. 26, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
38.47
Dividend Yield
0.04%
Market Cap
£119.84 billion
Rev. per Employee
£1.52M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207682964/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 42.00
-2.38 -5.36%
Volume: 2.77M
Nov. 26, 2021 1:10p
P/E Ratio
35.78
Dividend Yield
3.90%
Market Cap
$159.82 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.95M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208409333/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
181.66 p
-13.84 -7.08%
Volume: 60.55M
Nov. 26, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
1.65%
Market Cap
£30.42 billion
Rev. per Employee
£332,602
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206581728/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 9.98
-0.53 -5.04%
Volume: 4.19M
Nov. 26, 2021 1:10p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
1.62%
Market Cap
$40.57 billion
Rev. per Employee
$426,514
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Sara Sjolin is a MarketWatch reporter based in London. Follow her on Twitter @sarasjolin.

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