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European stocks edge higher as EU talks advance; Dax up 0.03%

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Shutterstock photo - European stocks edged higher on Wednesday, after European finance ministers reached the basis of an agreement to wind down failing banks and share the costs, while speculation over the future of the Federal Reserve's stimulus program persisted.

During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 added 0.09%, France's CAC 40 rose 0.39%, while Germany's DAX 30 eased up 0.03%.

On Tuesday, European Union finance ministers were said to have moved closer to an agreement on a European banking union, a measure which is seen as key in fending off a repeat of the region's financial crisis.

Equity markets also found support amid expectations that the Federal Reserve will hold off on tapering its USD85 billion-a-month asset purchase program at its upcoming policy meeting scheduled for December 17-18, despite last week's stronger-than-forecast U.S. nonfarm payrolls report.

Financial stocks were mixed, as French lenders BNP Paribas and Societe Generale edged down 0.08% and 0.26%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank slid 0.31%.

Among peripheral lenders, Spanish banks BBVA and Banco Santander gained 0.11% and 0.57% respectively, while Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit rose 0.18% and 0.34%.

Elsewhere, financial-services company Mediolanum plumged 5.45% after its largest investor sold a 5.6% stake.

In London, FTSE 100 edged up 0.09%, despite losses in the financial and mining sectors.

Shares in Barclays slipped 0.23% and Lloyds Banking tumbled 1.37%, while the Royal Bank of Scotland plummeted 1.78% after Nathan Bostock resigned after two months as chief financial officer.

HSBC Holdings overperformed on the other hand, up 0.23%.

In the mining sector, Rio Tinto dropped 0.40% and BHP Billiton retreated 0.83%, while Polymetal and Randgold Resources lost 0.58% and 1.24% respectively.

Adding to losses, Imagination Technologies Group dove 14.06% after the designer of chip technology for phones and tablets half-year reported sales that missed analysts' estimates.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a steady open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.08% fall, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.07% loss, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.14% decline. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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

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