European shares post steepest annual fall in 3 yrs.
LONDON - European shares rose on
Friday but still recorded their biggest annual drop since the onset of the
financial crisis as debt tensions in
the euro zone strained the financial
sector and threatened to derail a fragile
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended the day 0.8 percent
higher at 1,000.39 in volume at less than a quarter of the 90-day average as
the UK and German markets closed early ahead of the New Year weekend.
Cyclicals gained, led by construction stocks and insurers, as the market
extended a year-end rally on the back of a steady flow of upbeat data from
the United States recently.
For the year the index fell 10.7, the
most since 2008, with cyclical stocks among the worst hit as government
austerity measures and a lending squeeze in the euro zone curbed economic