By Riva Gold

Global stocks slipped Thursday as trading continued to be quiet ahead of the holidays.

The Stoxx Europe 600 inched down 0.1% shortly after markets opened, led lower by the basic resources sector. Base metals prices were mostly down on the day, weighing on mining companies, with copper futures were down 1% at $5,452 a ton, while aluminum and zinc also declined.

Italian bank shares were steady as investors continued to focus on the fate of troubled Italian lender Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA.

Declines in Europe followed small losses in Asia and on Wall Street. U.S. stocks ended atouch lower Wednesday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average continued to hover below the 20000 milestone. Futures pointed to a 22 point opening loss for the blue-chip index on Thursday.

Earlier, shares in Asia mostly fell in thin holiday trading, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index down 0.8% and Japan's Nikkei Stock Average off 0.1%, led lower by financial stocks. Australian shares advanced 0.5%.

Still, overall market activity was muted as volumes trailed off before the holidays, with the WSJ Dollar Index flat and government bond markets little changed. The 10-year German bund yield was fractionally lower Wednesday at 0.239% from 0.243% while the 10-year U.S. Treasury note yielded 2.541% from 2.544%.

Later Thursday, U.S. weekly jobless claims and a reading on income and spending will be among the year's final pieces of macroeconomic data.

Ese Erheriene contributed to this article

Write to Riva Gold at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 22, 2016 03:49 ET (08:49 GMT)

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