Market Buzz: No 'Santa Claus rally' over slow US response to budget concerns

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Russian markets are expected to closely follow the stalled budget talks in the US, which have so far restrained markets from their usual year-end 'Santa Claus rally.'

Lingering uncertainty around the 'fiscal cliff' has dampened markets' usual New Year rally, Andrey Sakharov of Investcafe said.

Russian markets traded mixed Friday, with the RTS adding 0.08% to end at 1,500.89, and the MICEX declining 0.03% to 1,465.77. The price of oil remains the main driver on Russian floors, having grown to $108.1/bbl, Sakharov explained.

“The reason for growth was Friday statistics form China, confirming a growth course of the largest developing economy,” he said.

In Asia, major stocks made gains on Monday after Japan's conservative Liberal Democratic Party, which favors aggressive monetary easing, won Sunday's election by a landslide.

Japan's Nikkei average climbed 1.0% on Monday to an 8-1/2-month closing high. The Nikkei rose 91.32 % to 9,828.88, its highest closing level since April 3. The broader Topix index advanced 0.9% to 807.84.

Stocks declined in Europe on Friday as investors decided to bank profits after a recent strong run. The FTSEurofirst lost 0.1 % to end at 1,133.36, having dipped 0.4% in the previous session following a powerful three-week rally which propelled the index to 18-month highs.

On Wall Street, all major indices also finished Friday trading in the red. The Dow Jones fell nearly 0.3%, the S&P 500 declined 0.4% and the Nasdaq went down 0.7%.

The ‘fiscal cliff’ is a set of automatic spending cuts and tax increases that will kick off if US lawmakers fail to pass a budget that deals with the country's sky-high national debt.