By Riva Gold

European stock markets opened little changed Wednesday with bonds and currency markets largely becalmed in quiet holiday trading.

The Stoxx Europe 600 was up less than 0.1% as gains in mining and energy companies offset modest declines elsewhere.

Shares of BHP Billiton and Anglo American were up over 4% in the early minutes of trading as rising oil and metals prices lifted the basic resources sector. Copper futures were up 1.1% at $5,527 a ton, while gold rose 0.4% to $1,142 an ounce and Brent crude oil added 0.3% to $56.97 a barrel after settling at its highest since July 2015.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Banks sector was up 0.3%, but shares of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena still weren't trading after the European Central Bank said the lender had a far bigger hole in its balance sheet than previously calculated.

In government bond markets, the yield on the 10-year German bund was down slightly at 0.180% from 0.190%, while the 10-year Treasury yield edged down to 2.556% from 2.563%. Yields move inversely to prices.

The euro weakened 0.1% against the dollar to $1.0452, while the dollar was up 0.1% against the yen at Yen117.5410.

Earlier, commodity-sensitive shares led Australian stocks up 1% after a four-day weekend as metals prices rose. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 1.1%, while Japanese markets were flat after data Tuesday showed consumer prices fell for a ninth consecutive month. Shares in Toshiba Corp. also fell over 20%, weighing on Japanese markets, after the company warned about a multibillion-dollar write-down.

Wednesday's moves came after technology shares helped lift U.S. stocks in a quiet session on Tuesday. Futures pointed to a 0.2% opening gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which ended at its second-highest close in history but shy of the 20,000 milestone.

Kenan Machado

and Deborah Ball contributed to this article.

Write to Riva Gold at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 28, 2016 04:00 ET (09:00 GMT)

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