European stock markets end higher; FTSE closes at record high

European bourses ended Friday on a slightly higher note on the last trading day of 2016 after opening in the red.

Britain’s FTSE 100, which closed early for the New Year weekend, ended 2016 at a record high of 7142.83, registering a gain of more than 14 percent in 2016.

The German DAX rose 0.3 percent to close at 11,481.06 in a shortened trading day. For the year, the benchmark is up almost 7 percent.

Wall Street was little changed at the start of the final trading day.

The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 closed 0.26 percent higher. Banking stocks were up by 0.44 percent. Data showed earlier on Friday an increase in corporate lending in the euro zone.

Healthcare stocks were also among the worst performers. Johnson and Johnson is reportedly considering breaking up the Swiss technological firm Actelion if it acquires the company. Actelion shares were down by more more than 1 percent.

Oil and gas stocks were slightly down as the starting date for the implementation of the lastest OPEC deal nears. However, oil prices are on track for their greatest yearly percentage gain since 2009. Both WTI and Brent were trading above $53 a barrel on Friday.

Spain reported an increase of 1.4 percent in consumer harmonised prices in December. These had gone up by only 0.5 percent in November, Reuters reported.

Italy said Friday that producer prices dropped 0.1 percent month-on-month in November – a 0.3 percent fall compared to a year ago.

The European Commission approved Thursday a six-month extension to allow the Italian government to revamp its baking system. Monte dei Paschi announced it is issuing a 15 billion euro ($15.8 billion) of debt in 2017 to improve its capital position.

President-elect Trump has said he will meet with intelligence services after the current U.S. administration issued new sanctions against Russia. Among other actions, President Barack Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats for suspicion of interference in the last U.S. election.

Earlier on Friday the euro went up 2 percent, the highest intraday gain since November 8, but it has settled back down at $1.0557.

Source: CNBC