Global markets have enjoyed a stellar 2017

London (AFP) - European stock markets were slightly weaker in light holiday-season trading on Thursday, but London’s FTSE 100 was still hovering close to its recent record highs on the back of strong commodity prices.

While stocks on Wall Street showed some gains at the opening, the picture was more mixed on this side of the Atlantic.

In the eurozone, both Frankfurt’s DAX 30 index and the Paris CAC were down by around 0.2 percent in afternoon trading.

But London’s benchmark index, which had hit a record of 7,632.71 on Wednesday, flat, buoyed up by higher copper prices.

“Equity markets are once again mixed in thin market trading,” said Accendo Markets analyst, Henry Croft.

For Oanda analyst Craig Erlam, it was “another relatively quiet day, as is often the case during the holiday period, and a lack of economic events on the calendar won’t help matters.”

Wall Street opened higher on the back of the weaker dollar, which favours export stocks.

Earlier in Asia, Hong Kong rose 0.9 percent and Shanghai gained 0.6 percent, while Sydney put on 0.3 percent.

But Tokyo finished 0.6 percent down after an afternoon sell-off fuelled by the strengthening yen, as traders fret over another possible North Korean missile test.

- Bitcoin tumbles -

Bitcoin sank more than $1,800, or 11 percent, to below $14,000 at 0600 GMT after South Korea said it would ban anonymous trading of virtual currencies and crack down on their links to money laundering activities.

It later recovered slightly to $14,346.

South Korea is one of main trading nations in bitcoin, accounting for about 20 percent of global transactions.

The digital unit has seen stratospheric growth this year, rising more than 25-fold from its January low to hit a record around $19,500 earlier this month, according to Bloomberg figures.

Oil prices were firmer, and Oanda analyst Stephen Innes said he expected “more regional chaos and disorder to underpin prices”.

- Key figures around 1450 GMT -

New York - DOW: UP 0.1 percent at 24,806.00 points

London - FTSE 100: FLAT at 7,622.13

Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 0.2 percent at 13,041.61

Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.2 percent at 5,356.13

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.4 percent at 3,537.18

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.6 percent at 22,783.98 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.9 percent at 29,863.71 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.6 percent at 3,296.38 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1948 from $1.1932

Pound/dollar: FLAT at $1.3449

Dollar/yen: FLAT at 112.84

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: DOWN eight cents at $59.56 per barrel

Oil - Brent North Sea: FLAT at $66.43 per barrel