European markets gain on 27 November
European markets gain on 27 November (Reuters).

European markets opened higher on 27 November, taking their cues from the US where the Dow logged a record finish and the Nasdaq finished above 4,000 points for the first time in 13 years.

Markets continued trading higher thereafter as investors cheered better-than-expected German consumer confidence data.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index opened 0.1% higher to 322.62.

Britain's FTSE 100 opened flat.

France's CAC 40 and Germany's DAX 30 opened 0.2% higher.

Spain's IBEX 35 was trading 0.25% higher after opening higher.

Italy's FTSE MIB was trading 1.03% higher after opening higher.

The forward-looking consumer sentiment indicator from German think tank GfK, for December, inched up to 7.4, higher than the market expected 7.1. The December reading showed that consumer sentiment in Germany, Europe's strongest economy, is at its highest level in more than six years.

Market participants will be tracking developments in Italy, where former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, convicted of tax fraud, faces a Senate vote on whether to expel him from Italian politics.

Elsewhere, in the UK, the government left the second estimate of third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) unchanged at 1.5%.

In company news, Royal Mail shareholders are set to receive £133m in dividends for 2013 after the recently privatised delivery company reported a near doubling of first half year profits.

Meanwhile, Britain's business secretary Vince Cable is set to face a grilling in parliament today over whether he priced Royal Mail shares too low and therefore short changed the taxpayer.

Norwegian oil services firm Aker Solutions' stock rose 13% after holding firm Aker raised its stake in the company by 6%.

French hotel group Accor's shares dropped 4.5% after the firm said it would overhaul its hotel business to improve performance.

In Asia and the US

The Shanghai Composite finished 0.82% higher on 27 November. Hong Kong's Hang Seng finished 0.53% higher, and South Korea's Kospi finished 0.31% higher.

Australia's S&P/ASX finished 0.45% lower while the Japanese Nikkei finished 0.42% lower.

Mumbai's BSE Sensex was trading 0.22% lower.

Earlier, Asian markets witnessed mixed trade as investors took profits amid rising regional political tensions.

The US defied China's unilateral imposition of an air defence zone over a disputed area of the East China Sea by flying two military B-52 aircraft through it.

US officials said that the two jets flew from the American island of Guam, entered China's Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ), and hovered over a group of islands at the centre of an increasingly bitter dispute between Beijing and Tokyo.

Meanwhile, anti-government protests in Thailand spread outside the capital on 27 November. Opposition demonstrators expect to overthrow Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's crisis-hit government within days.

On Wall Street, most indices logged marginal gains on 26 November despite upbeat housing market data.

Government data showed that building permits for future home construction shot up 6.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.03 million units in October. That rate of increase is the highest since June 2008. Permits increased by 5.2% in the preceding month.

The Dow ended slightly higher at 16,072.80, a record finish for the benchmark index.

The S&P 500 finished slightly higher at 1,802.75.

The Nasdaq closed 23.18 points higher or 0.6% at 4,017.75, finishing above the 4,000 mark for the first time since 2000.