* FTSE lifted by rise in commodity stocks
* Half-day of trading across most European stock markets
* Germany’s DAX is closed for the day
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, Dec 24 (Reuters) - A rise in the British stock market, whose commodity-related companies climbed on the back of a further rebound in oil prices, propped up European equities on Thursday.
Britain’s blue-chip FTSE 100 index rose 0.2 percent. In continental Europe, Spain’s IBEX advanced 0.5 percent while France’s CAC edged down 0.2 percent.
Germany’s DAX market was closed, while other markets were due to have a half-day ahead of the Christmas holiday, and trading volumes were below average.
Oil majors such as BP and Royal Dutch Shell climbed by around 1 percent, as U.S. crude prices rose for a fourth straight session.
“The London market is benefiting from the latest rebound in crude oil prices,” said Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.
“The oil price, so troublesome in the run in to Christmas, is now hovering just below the $38 per barrel mark, boosted by a crude oil inventories figure on Wednesday that saw an unexpected 5.9 billion drop in the amount of barrels produced.”
Concerns about an economic slowdown in China, which is a major consumer of commodities such as oil and metals, hit the FTSE and other European markets in the second half of this year.
Those markets have rebounded in late December, however, helped partly by signs of economic stimulus measures in China.
Record low interest rates set by the European Central Bank and other steps to spur an economic recovery in the euro zone have also supported European stock markets.
The FTSE 100 is down by around 5 percent since the start of 2015, but France’s CAC and the DAX are up around 9 percent.
Today’s European research round-up (Editing by Catherine Evans)