Europe Markets

European Shares to Open Mixed in Thin Trade

European shares were seen opening mixed in thin trade following the Christmas break as Asian shares slipped lower overnight despite stronger US consumer confidence data.

The FTSE, reopening after the Christmas break, was seen higher by 16 points, while the DAXwas unchanged and the CAC lower by 8 points.

European debt concerns continue to plague the market and concerns about an Italian debt auction later this week also weighed heavily on the markets. Asian shares were affected by a bigger-than-expected industrial output drop in Japan.

In the US, President Barack Obama is expected to nominate Harvard economist Jeremy Stein and Jerome Powell, an investment banker and former Treasury official, to the two empty seats on the Federal Reserve's policy-setting board of governors.

Troubled French retailer Carrefour announced it had sold 97 supermarket properties to an asset manager. The world's second largest retailer has been plagued by poor investor confidence following profit warnings earlier in the year.

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