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

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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 The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: SHPG , TOT

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