European stocks close mixed; FTSE 100 hits record high

European markets closed mixed on Wednesday, amid light trade across markets worldwide due to the holiday period.

The pan-European STOXX 600 closed up 0.1 percent, with major bourses pointing in different directions. The FTSE 100 hit a record high during the session on Wednesday, and closed 0.34 percent higher.

Trade is lighter than usual on Wednesday, as markets across the globe open back up after the Christmas holiday break. European trade is expected to be influenced somewhat by the moves in Asia, with trade in Asian-Pacific markets posting minor gains during the day’s session.

In commodity markets, oil prices were in focus after crude futures hit a two year-plus high in the last 24 hours. Prices however came off their highs before in the European session, as a gradual resumption of flows through a major pipeline in the North Sea, helped counteract the supply disruption seen in Libya, Reuters reported.

The oil and gas sector was in positive territory.

In individual stock news, U.K. serviced office provider IWG saw shares close 27 percent higher after it disclosed that it had received a takeover bid from Canadian private equity firm Onex and Brookfield Asset Management.

Royal Dutch Shell was in the black after the oil giant said it expects “favorable” impact on its operations from the recently passed U.S. tax reform law.

A number of Apple suppliers, including Dialog Semiconductor and Austria Microsystems fell sharply after Taiwan’s Economic Daily newspaper reported that the iPhone maker would slash its sales forecast for the iPhone X in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, a Russian court approved a settlement between Russia’s Rosneft and Sistema on Tuesday, ending the pair’s dispute over the Bashneft oil firm, RIA news agency reported.

Looking to global politics, the U.S. sanctioned two top officials from North Korea on Tuesday, involved in the state’s ballistic missile development programmes.

These sanctions come just days after a United Nations Security Council resolution which imposed harsh restrictions on the country, following its missile test in late November. Source: CNBC