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The Deal: European Stocks Edge Higher; Asian Shares Slip

LONDON (The Deal) -- European stock indices edged higher after a closely watched index of manufacturing output beat forecasts while Asian indices ended the day largely in the red.

The December reading of Markit Economic's eurozone manufacturing index rose to 52.7, well above consensus forecasts for a reading of 51.9, and above the 51.6 posted in the month before.  The rise took the index to a 31-month high.

In Frankfurt, the DAX index rose 0.51% to 9,052.63. In Paris, the CAC was up 0.55% at 4,082.93. The FTSE in London rose 0.24% to 6,455,70.
In Milan,  Telecom Italia was up more than 5% after it emerged that BlackRock (BLK)now owns more than 10%.

Also in Milan, private equity-backed luxury ski jackets maker Moncler soared about 40% as trading began after shares in last week's IPO priced at the top of the range.  At the current price, Moncler, whose backers include Carlyle Group LP and Eurazeo SA,  has a market value of about 3.6 euros billion ($4.9 billion).

In Mumbai, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals surged 19% after its controlling U.K. shareholder announced the terms of a tender offer to raise its majority stake to up to 75%. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will offer 3,100 rupees , or a 26% premium to Friday's close, to lift its stake from 50.2%.  The British company will potentially invest Rs63.86 billion ($1.03 billion) for the additional shares.

Asian indices closed down as ahead of a slew of data from the U.S., including November industrial output,  that might influence the two-day Federal Reserve meeting starting Tuesday. A growing minority of forecasters expect the Fed to opt to begin cutting its $85 billion monthly bond buying program at the meeting, which is Chairman Ben Bernanke's last one.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei closed down 1.62% at 15,152,91. That was despite the Bank of Japan's influential Tankan index of manufacturing sentiment soaring to a six-year high.  In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng shed 0.56% to close down at 23,114.66.

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