LONDON Dec 30 Britain's blue-chip FTSE 100
index looked set for a strong finish to 2016 on Friday
after climbing to a record closing high in the previous session,
although the pan-European STOXX 600 index was set for a
slightly weaker ending.
The FTSE 100 has gained nearly 14 percent this year, making
it the best performer among major European stock indexes despite
the shock of June's Brexit vote. Its climb is due largely to the
mining sub-index, which has jumped 100 percent in
2016 on stronger metals prices and expectations of a boost to
infrastructure spending in the United States.
The STOXX Europe 600 index is down around 1.6 percent this
year, however, reflecting political uncertainties in the region
and concerns about the Italian banking industry.
Italy's benchmark FTSE MIB is down around 10
percent, among the worst performers in Europe, following a 38
percent slump in Italian banks this year.
On Friday, the STOXX 600, the FTSE 100, Germany's DAX
and France's CA were all trading around 0.2
percent lower in early trading.
(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Catherine Evans)