NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- European markets rose in thin trading Wednesday, as a roller-coaster 2014 drew to a close. Frankfurt -- which closed for the New Year on Dec. 30 -- finished the year up 2.7%. Both Paris and London are still a tad below year-ago levels, though still well ahead of their October lows.
In London, the natural-resources heavy FTSE100 is still burdened by the fall in oil and mineral prices.
Also tugging the index down this year were the difficulties of the big supermarket chains in their battle for the consumer's purse, with the German discount grocers Aldi and Lidl as major contenders. But as shoppers piled in to collect their New Year's Eve party supplies, supermarkets put on a few extra pence. Tesco (TESO) rose 0.99% to 188.75 pence, while J. Sainsbury (JSAIY) was up 0.12% at 244.90 pence.
In the mid-market, Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment (PYGMF) was up 0.17% at 116.4 pence by mid-morning, despite falling sharply in early trading on poor fourth-quarter sports betting margins. The Gibraltar-based online betting company said it was on track to deliver the €30 million ($36.5 million) of cost savings it promised for 2014. It said it was in active talks on the sale of its social gaming business, Win, and expected to make an announcement soon. Meanwhile, talks on partnerships or potential business combinations for the remainder of the company were ongoing.
At 11:15 a.m. London time, the FTSE100 was up 0.31% at 5,567, while in Paris the CAC 40 was up 0.59% at 4,270.
In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 closed down 1.57% at 17,450.77 in a disappointing end to the year, while in China the Shanghai Composite closed up 2.15% on the day and a remarkable 52.84% on the year at 3,233.96.
TheStreet Ratings team rates TESCO CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate TESCO CORP (TESO) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."
You can view the full analysis from the report here: TESO Ratings Report