Global Markets Quiet Ahead of New Year Break

European markets have fallen slightly, in part on profit taking after last week¿s rally, but Frankfurt spent the morning above the record 9500 threshold it reached on Friday. In London, Lloyds banking group slid on speculation the government could try to dispose of its remaining 33% stake this year. In Italy, Shareholders of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena rejected plans for a $4 billion fund raising, postponing the capital raising until May. The move increases the chances the world¿s oldest bank may have to be nationalized. In Asia, markets were mixed, but Japan¿s Nikkei closed the year up 36%.