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European stock markets struggle amid UK strikes

European stock markets

The FTSE 100 was almost 0.2% up, while the CAC tumbled 0.1% and the DAX was flat

European stock markets were lacklustre on the final day of trading before Christmas as trains, flights and postal deliveries are all set to be disrupted by strikes in the UK.

In London, the FTSE 100 was almost 0.2% up after opening, while the CAC tumbled 0.1% and the DAX was flat.

It came as Royal Mail employees, as well as National Highways, Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and Border Force staff are due to take industrial action today.

Travellers arriving in Britain face long queues and delays, with up to half a million people likely to be affected.

Steve Dann, Border Force chief operating officer, said: We are working together with partners across the travel industry to ensure we can continue to meet critical demand and support the flow of passengers and goods through our border.

During the periods of industrial action, travellers should be prepared for disruption. We encourage everyone to check the latest advice from your operators before travelling, he said.

On Wall Street, S&P 500 futures were flat, Dow futures rose almost 0.1%, and Nasdaq futures were 0.1% lower as trade began in Europe.

It came as shares closed in a sea of red on Thursday, driven by fears that strong economic data and better-than-expected economic growth will see the US Federal Reserve double down on its interest rate hikes to tame inflation.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 1.1% down, while the broad-based S&P 500 Index lost 1.5 in the previous session. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index also plunged 2.2%.

Matt Britzman, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: The Santa rally looks to be short lived across the pond as US stocks came under pressure from renewed interest rate fears, and the FTSE 100 struggles to regain form.

He said: It’s worth remembering, interest rate hikes always have a lag before they really take hold, and we’d expect economic growth to face tougher tests to come, as Fed actions work through the economy.

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