European shares close higher in holiday-thinned trade

European shares hit record highs on Tuesday in a shortened trading session due to the Christmas holidays.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 rose 0.12 percent, touching an all-time high, with all major bourses ending in positive territory, with the exception of the German DAX that was down 0.13 percent.

In terms of individual sectors, performance was generally flat across the board, with travel and leisure at the top of the table, up 0.8 percent.

Ambu, a Denmark-based medical equipment company closed up more than 3.5 percent, followed by drugmaker Bayer at 3 percent. Shares of Bayer reached their highest level in 14 months after the U.S. government said that a $25 million glyphosate decision against the company should be reversed.

Meanwhile, NMC Health was the worst performing stock in morning trade, down more than 9 percent. The company’s London-listed shares jumped almost 34 percent on Monday after announcing a third party review of its business. The Abu Dhabi-based company’s stock had tumbled after U.S. short-selling hedge fund Muddy Waters attacked its balance sheet.

Year-end rally stateside

Market focus is largely attuned to developments on the U.S.-China trade front. Stocks stateside climbed on Monday, hitting yet another record high as the year-end rally continues.

Investors cheered the news that China will cut import tariffs on a wide range of goods. China’s finance ministry announced starting January 1, it will lower import tariffs on over 850 products ranging from frozen pork to some types of semiconductors. China is making efforts to boost imports amid a slowing economy and a trade war with the U.S.

Source: CNBC