Europe markets post modest gains on average for 2014

European shares finished higher on Wednesday on the last trading day of the year, averaging modest gains of around 4 percent across 2014.

For 2014, the pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 index clocked gains of 4.26 percent, underperforming U.S. counterparts, with the S&P 500 up around 12.5 percent for the year.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 has fallen 2.7 percent this year, the French CAC has lost 0.5 percent and the German DAX has eked out slim gains of 2.65 percent.

However in Portugal, the PSI 20 lost around 26.8 percent and Greek stocks have tanked 28.9 percent since January.

European stock indexes mostly closed around midday on Wednesday, although the German DAX was shut for the whole day.


London's FTSE 100 closed provisionally higher by 0.4 percent on the day, while the French CAC posted a rise of 0.6 percent. Spain's IBEX 35 finished the session flat.

Traders this week have been concerned by a further fall in oil prices and political uncertainty in Greece.

Greece's parliament failed to elect a president on Monday, and general elections are now expected in January, potentially disrupting Greece's hard-won economic and political progress.

Meanwhile, Brent crude oil extended losses into a fourth session on Tuesday, and looked to push lower again on Wednesday, trading just above $57 per barrel.

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