European shares closed higher on Friday after the two-day Christmas break, continuing their year-end rally. However, trading was thin as investors geared up for the New Year.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 closed provisionally up 1.1 percent at 1,313.95. Germany's DAX index closed unofficially up 0.9 percent, setting a new record high.The U.K. FTSE and the French Cac 40 closed up 0.9 percent and 1.4 percent respectively.
Retail stocks were in focus on what was one of the biggest shopping days of the year across Europe and the U.S.The retail sub-set of the FTSEurofirst 300 closed around 0.8 percent higher.
Asian equity markets were higher on Friday. Japan's Nikkei closed at its fourth consecutive six-year high, while a record close on the benchmark U.S. Dow on Thursday lifted sentiment across the rest of Asia.
Wall Street traded continued to rally on Friday, with markets interpreting the increase in benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields as symptomatic of an improving economy.
Friday was a light day for economic data in Europe, with just two releases of note. French producer prices for November rose 0.5 percent from October, data published by the INSEE statistics office showed. And Greek producer prices for November rose 0.7 percent, Greece's statistics service said.
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