European Stocks Gain, UK Shares Rise After Bullish Retail Sales Data

By Staff,

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European shares rise, with the FTSE-100 eking out a gain as bullish UK sales data slightly overshadowed a warning from Royal Dutch (RDS.A), which is a heavyweight in the index.

UK retail sales including fuel increased 2.6% in December from November, posting the strongest December since records began in 1996. The median forecast of 22 economists in a Bloomberg News survey was for a 0.3% gain last month. Department stores posted a record 8.7% increase in sales.

RDS.A warned Q4 profit is expected to be "significantly lower than recent levels".

In other news, France's budget deficit missed the official forecast. It was EUR74.9 billion ($101.94 billion), higher than the official forecast of EUR72.1 billion, yet down EUR12 billion from a year earlier.

The eurozone's construction output fell by 0.6% from October, and 1.7% from November 2012. Output also fell in September and October, having been higher in Q3 compared to the three months to June.

Among ADRs, Shire ( SHPG ) says it is divesting its dermagraft assets, worth $683 million, to Organogenesis Inc. SHPG receive any upfront payment from Organogenesis, but is entitled to get up to $300 million cash milestone payments should Organogenesis meet certain annual net sales targets between now and 2018. SHPG will record a loss on the disposal and associated impairment charges of $650 million in Q413.

Total ( TOT ) is upgraded to buy from neutral at Citigroup.

The FTSE-100 was last up 0.2% at 6,829.30, the DAX up 0.26% at 9,742.96 and the CAC-40 up 0.19% at 4,327.50.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2014 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing Commodities
Referenced Stocks: SHPG , TOT

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