December 30, 2016 / 8:28 AM / 2 years ago

Britain's FTSE set to close 2016 on strong note, Europe lags

LONDON, Dec 30 (Reuters) - 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

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