European stocks gained after the Federal Reserve said it would
start to taper its bond-buying program in January, lowering the
amount of its purchases by $10 billion. The Fed also suggested the
Fed funds rate would remain low for some time.
Around the region, the current-account balance in the eurozone
increased to a surplus of 21.8 billion euros ($30 billion) in
October, following an upwardly revised EUR14.9 billion surplus in
UK retail sales rose 0.3% on the month and 2.0% on the year in
November. In October the index fell a revised 0.9% on the month and
rose 1.8% in annual terms. Economists had forecast sales rose 0.4%
from November and by 2.5% from a year earlier.
German wages rose 1.3% in Q3 from a year ago, but pay gains were
more than eaten up by inflation. Consumer prices rose 1.6% in this
period, the statistics office said, resulting in a decline in wages
of 0.3% in real terms.
Swiss GDP will expand 1.9% this year, government agency Seco
predicted. That is up slightly from a previous forecast of 1.8%. It
kept its projection for growth in 2014 steady at 2.3% and expects
the economy to grow 2.7% in 2015.
In ADR news, AstraZeneca PLC (
) said it is buying Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.'s (
) entire stake in the two companies' diabetes venture for up to
$4.1 billion. AZN will pay an initial $2.7 billion for BMY's
interest and up to a further $1.4 billion in regulatory, launch and
sales-related payments. It will also pay various sales-related
royalty payments up until 2025 and may make payments up to $225
million when certain assets are subsequently transferred.
The FTSE-100 was last up 1.43% at 6,584.70, the DAX up 1.68% at
9,335.74 and the CAC-40 up 1.64% at 4,177.03.