European shares end last session pre-Christmas down

LONDON Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:03pm GMT

LONDON Dec 24 (Reuters) - European shares provisionally finished lower on Monday in the last trading session before the Christmas break and with some markets closed and volumes light investors opted to trim positions awaiting a resolution to U.S. budget talks.

A number of European markets such as the French, Dutch, Spanish and UK ones traded for half the session on Monday, while those in Germany, Italy, Austria, Greece, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland were closed.

The FTSEurofirst 300 closed down 1.2 points or 0.1 percent, at 1,137.93 points, just shy of an 19-month high of 1,144.15 hit last week.

"There is very few people in the office and most of the business being done is trimming positions after some decent year-end gains," a London-based trader said.

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