* European markets either closed or having a half-day
* UK’s FTSE 100 rises 0.2 pct to 6,609.93 points
* France’s CAC ends down 0.4 pct
* Frankfurt and Milan markets closed
* Smith & Nephew jumps on bid speculation
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, Dec 24 (Reuters) - Bid speculation drove up the shares of medical devices maker Smith & Nephew on Wednesday, allowing it to outpace sluggish European stock markets in a shortened session ahead of the Christmas break.
The 7.7 percent jump in Smith & Nephew, after Bloomberg News reported U.S. rival Stryker was planning a takeover offer for it, allowed Britain’s blue-chip FTSE 100 index to end 0.2 percent higher at 6,609.93 points.
France’s CAC ended down 0.4 percent as data showing another set of record unemployment figures in France weighed on the Paris market.
By contrast, data showed that British workers’ productivity had a long-awaited improvement in the third quarter of this year, highlighting how Britain has managed to avoid the worst of the economic slump afflicting the euro zone.
“Productivity has been a sore spot for the UK economy recently, so a positive figure could not have come at a better time,” said Spreadex financial analyst Connor Campbell.
Spain’s IBEX equity index was flat, while the cash markets for both Milan and Frankfurt’s DAX were closed.
The DAX is up 4 percent in 2014, beating a 2 percent dip on the FTSE 100 and a flat performance on France’s CAC.
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up (Additional reporting by Blaise Robinson and Alexandre Boksenbaum-Granier; Editing by Tom Heneghan)