European shares hover near record high in thin holiday trade

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(Reuters) – European shares traded near all-time highs on Tuesday in a holiday-shortened week, helped by optimism about the global economic outlook amid progress in U.S.-China trade talks.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index () was nearly unchanged at 0813 GMT.

Britain’s FTSE 100 () fell 0.2% and Spain’s IBEX () eased 0.4%. France’s CAC () was trading flat, while Germany’s DAX () and Italy’s FTSE MIB () were shut for Christmas Eve.

Investor sentiment has received a boost going into the new year with the apparent easing of two of the biggest risks to global growth: the prolonged Sino-U.S. trade war and an uncertain exit for Britain from the European Union.

After nominal growth in the second and third quarters, the benchmark index is on course to end the year with its biggest annual gain in a decade. Easy monetary policy is again expected to keep a floor under European shares in 2020.

Among individual movers, Spanish sausage casing company Viscofan (MC:) fell 1.4%, while French oilfield services company TechnipFMC (PA:) added 1.2%.

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