Madrid Stock Exchange
European markets outside Spain open higher on 23 December.Reuters

European markets outside Spain opened higher on 23 December, and witnessed mixed trade thereafter, even after the US put out positive third-quarter growth data.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index opened 0.1% higher to 321.56.

Britain's FTSE 100 opened 0.3% higher.

France's CAC 40 opened 0.2% higher.

Germany's DAX 30 opened 0.4% higher.

Spain's IBEX 35 was trading 0.23% lower after opening flat.

Italy's FTSE MIB was flat after opening higher.

Data from the US, on 20 December, showed that the world's largest economy expanded faster-than-projected in the third quarter. The American economy expanded at a 4.1% annualised rate in the July-September quarter, up from a previous estimate of 3.6%.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised its US growth forecasts for 2014, owing to positive economic data and signs that the country's lawmakers might become more flexible on future budget negotiations.

BMO Capital Markets said in a note to clients: "[The] US economy is gaining underlying strength as old headwinds fade and new tailwinds emerge. Q3 GDP growth was revised up much more than expected to 4.1% annualised, marking a decent acceleration from 2.5% in Q2 and 1.1% in Q1."

"The strong Q3 growth performance vindicates the Fed's decision to begin tapering QE3. It also suggests the economy is poised for stronger growth in the new-year than the middling 2.0% pace of the past year, meaning the tapering process will continue."

In company news, UK-based spirits group Diageo's stock was trading 0.72% higher at 09:30GMT in London on 23 December, even after an Indian court ordered the annulment of Diageo's purchase of shares in India's United Spirits.

Italy's Banca Monte dei Paschi's stock was trading 5.01% higher at 09:29GMT despite reports that the bank's top shareholder could be looking to sell its 20% stake in the troubled lender.

In other news, Bank of England Deputy Governor Andrew Bailey said in an interview on 22 December that the central bank was tracking Britain's fast-rising housing market and that the BoE had the tools to cool the market, if needed.

Meanwhile, Germany's largest lender Deutsche Bank said it could be forced to put aside more money for probable future litigation costs, following its $1.9bn settlement with a US regulator.

In Asia

Thailand's benchmark SET index was trading 1.28% lower on 23 December after anti-government protestors said they would shun snap-elections. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra had scheduled a snap poll for 2 February in an effort to calm the unrest.

South Korea's Kospi finished 0.68% higher while Australia's S&P/ASX finished 0.51% higher.

The Shanghai Composite finished 0.24% higher while Hong Kong's Hang Seng finished 0.48% higher.

Financial markets in Japan remained closed for the Emperor's Birthday public holiday.

A bulk of all markets traded higher following record closes on Wall Street last week.

Meanwhile, higher borrowing costs in China continued to worry market players. The benchmark seven-day repo rate shot up to 9.6% on Monday despite central bank intervention on 19 December.

"The issue of tighter interbank liquidity has been a key focus a few times this year and given the seasonality this should not surprise anyone, but with the lack of major weekend newsflow, perhaps this issue has been given greater attention from markets than it would have done otherwise," Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG told CNBC.

For the week ended 21 December, indices outside China ended in green territory.

On Wall Street

On Wall Street, indices ended higher on 20 December following upbeat US growth data.

The Dow finished 42.06 points, or 0.3%, higher at 16,221.14.

The S&P 500 ended 8.71 points, or 0.5%, higher at 1,818.31.

The Nasdaq closed 46.61 points, or 1.2%, higher at 4,104.74.

For the week ended 21 December, the Dow finished 3% higher, the Nasdaq closed 2.6% higher and the S&P 500 ended 2.4% higher.