Europe edges higher while US Markets end mixed ahead of Thanksgiving day

European stocks ended slightly higher yesterday as euro zone banking shares climbed on expectations of more stimulus from the European Central Bank grew. Data from Germany confirmed Europe’s largest economy avoided falling into a technical recession in the third quarter.

The rise in financials was partly offset by losses in resource-related shares, as crude oil and metal prices slumped. BHP Billiton lost 1.7 percent, BP fell 1.1 percent and Total dipped 1.6 percent.

Crude prices fell again yesterday, down by more than $1 a barrel to near four-year lows, after a meeting between Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and major non-OPEC oil exporters ended with no deal on curbing output before Thursday's summit of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

The FTSEuro first 300 index of top European shares ended 0.2 percent higher at 1,388.87 points, after rising as far as 1,395.34 earlier in the session.

The benchmark index has surged nearly 15 percent from a low hit in mid-October, bolstered by the prospect of further ECB easing as well as recent policy measures in Japan and China.

Shares in Deutsche Bank, ING and BNP Paribas rose 1.4-1.9 percent, making them the best performers among European blue chips.

Around Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 index ended 0.02 percent higher, Germany's DAX index rose 0.8 percent and France's CAC 40 added 0.3 percent.

Shares in E.ON gained 3.1 percent after sources said late on Monday that its Italian assets had drawn interest from a handful of energy companies and investment funds on the final day for a binding bid.

Shares in Spain's Telefonica rose 0.8 percent and BT added 0.4 percent after a report said BT could offer at least 6 billion euros ($7.5 billion) to the Spanish company for the O2 mobile network, on top of a 20 percent stake in BT's share capital.

Today Japanese stocks edged down as investors cautiously awaited a dip in U.S. economic data and a holiday-shortened U.S. trading week dampened risk appetite, while Honda Motor Co fell sharply after under-reporting accidents.

The Nikkei benchmark ended 0.1 percent lower at 17,383.58. U.S. durable goods and initial jobless claims figures are among data due later in the day.

Honda tumbled 2.9 percent to a one-week low after admitting it had failed to report serious accidents in the United States since 2003.

The broader Topix fell 0.2 percent to 1,406.40, while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 shed 0.3 percent to 12,816.64.

In the US the Thanksgiving holiday promise to make Wednesday a light trading day, but there is key data that could give an inkling of fourth-quarter growth.

Durable goods, personal income and spending and weekly jobless claims are expected at 8:30 a.m. Chicago PMI is at 9:45 a.m., consumer sentiment is at 9:55 a.m. and new and pending home sales are at 10 a.m. There is also oil inventory data.

Yesterday Stocks were mixed to lower while bonds rallied. The Dow was off 2 points at 17,814, the S&P 500 was off 2 points at 2,067, while the Nasdaq rose 3 points to 4,758.

Stocks traded in a narrow range, dipping in and out of negative territory after a variety of economic data highlighted by a surprise dip in consumer confidence. Trading volumes were thinning as many U.S. investors prepared for travel ahead of Thanksgiving on Thursday.