European Markets Trade Flat as 2017 Comes to a Close

European markets traded lower during early deals on Thursday despite light holiday week of trade witnessed in worldwide markets.

Stock prices on LED with graphs

The STOXX Europe 600 (SXXP) index was flat upon opening on Thursday before reaching negative territory.

On the other hand, basic resources, insurance, stocks in travel and leisure, food and beverage, and retail sectors were all trading in the positive territory with other sectors trading lesser.

The SXXP’s best performer was the retailer Steinhoff which rose nearly 5 percent. Some of the worst were service office provider IWG dropping 2.5 percent, and telecoms companies Dixons Carphone, Immarsat, Nokia, and BT.

It was expected to have lighter trade on Thursday. Due to international markets trying to get back on business during the break between the holidays and New Year.

Asian markets were able to close in a mostly higher level on Thursday. This follows the rally in oil and copper during the week although trade was thin ahead New Year’s long weekend.

Markets were slightly higher in U.S. due to gains in the utilities and the real estate sectors.

Oil prices were in focus following the crude futures’ more than two-year high which was reached earlier this week. Thursday saw prices inching higher with Brent trading above $66.50 and U.S. crude near the $60 mark.

Bitcoin continues to snag the spotlight as it still post big swings. It dropped 11 percent on Thursday after the government of South Korea implements new rules aiming to regulate trade of the cryptocurrency in the country.

The Confederation of British Industry delivered its latest growth indicator survey on Thursday. The survey focuses on the U.K. companies that reported a rise in growth during the fourth quarter leading to December. It was then shadowed with their statement of a possible slowdown early next year as households are impacted by high inflation.

Individual Stock News

Airbus has reportedly put together contingency plans of axing A380 jumbo production. This action will be done if it fails to win a key order from Dubai’s Emirates.

Barclays issued a statement on Wednesday that it expects a writedown of around 1 billion pounds ($1.34 billion). The writedown, it said, was for its annual post-tax profit as a result of the occurring U.S. tax reform.

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