European stocks push higher, eyes on U.S. "fiscal cliff"; Dax up 0.37%

Shutterstock photo - European stocks pushed broadly higher on Thursday, as investors eyed U.S. budget negotiations which were due to resume later in the day.

During European afternoon trade, the EURO STOXX 50 climbed 0.47%, France's CAC 40 advanced 0.74%, while Germany's DAX 30 rose 0.37%.

Market players remained focused on developments surrounding the fiscal cliff in the U.S., approximately USD600 billion in automatic tax hikes and spending cuts due to come into effect on January 1.

President Barack Obama was to end his vacation and return to Washington on Thursday in order to take part in talks to avert the crisis ahead of the year-end deadline. Both chambers of Congress are also due to return to work on Thursday.

Without a deal, the U.S. could fall back into recession and drag much of the world down with it.

Financial stocks remained broadly higher, as French lenders BNP Paribas and Societe Generale advanced 0.16% and 1.01%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank rallied 1.76% and 0.62%.

Peripheral lenders also posted sharp gains, with Italian banks Unicredit and Intesa Sanpaolo surging 1.67% and 1.93%, while Spain's BBVA and Banco Santander rose 0.28% and 0.16%.

Clariant added to gains, with shares soaring 4.37% after the specialty chemicals maker sold units for CHF502 million.

Meanwhile, Vivendi climbed 0.82% as KT Corp., South Korea's second-largest mobile-phone carrier, submitted a preliminary bid for Vivendi's stake in Moroccan carrier Maroc Telecom as it aims to expand in Africa.

In London, FTSE 100 advanced 0.65%, as U.K. lenders tracked their European counterparts higher.

HSBC Holdings climbed 0.70% and Barclays jumped 1.46%, while Lloyds Banking and the Royal Bank of Scotland surged 2.72% and 3.53%.

Meanwhile, oil and gas major Anglo American rallied 3.07% and Eurasian Natural Resources soared 4.55%, while Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton rallied 2.38% and 1.84% respectively.

Copper producers Xstrata and Kazakhmys were also on the upside, as shares advanced 2.40% and 2.27%.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a higher open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.15% rise, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.26% increase, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.28% gain.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to publish its weekly government report on initial jobless claims, as well as data on new home sales and consumer confidence. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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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.

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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