European stocks fell in the last session of the year yesterday as an impasse in U.S. budget talks pushed the world’s biggest economy to the edge of the “fiscal cliff” of austerity measures that would curb global growth.
The U.S. Senate was due to meet to continue discussion over averting the steep tax increases and spending cuts due to kick in the new year when the Daily News went to print yesterday evening, but there were still significant differences between the two sides. Trading was muted yestenrday as a number of European stocks exchanges such as the French, Dutch, Spanish and U.K. markets traded for half the session. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.1 percent at 1,129.58 points, while France’s CAC was down 0.1 percent and Britain’s FTSE shed 0.2 percent.
“Volumes are very depressed and we’re going to see a lot of cash off the table and investors are probably going to take profit on cyclical shares,” Ishaq Siddiqi, a market strategist, said.