UK stocks : FTSE closes up 0.3 pct

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SummaryFTSEurofirst 300 index ended up 0.3 percent at 1,171.06 points - a new closing high for 2013.

(FDA) for its Avastin product.

However, mobile phone maker Nokia fell 5.5 percent after announcing plans to axe its dividend in order to shore up its cash position.

Analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch kept an "underperform" rating on Nokia, writing in a research note that Nokia's gross margins and channel inventories were "not encouraging."

The Euro STOXX 50 index has a current relative strength index (RSI) reading of around 63 points - below the 70 point mark which means an index is in technically "overbought" territory, and suggesting it has room to rise in coming days.

The Euro STOXX 50 is also trading above the index's 200-day and 50-day simple moving average levels, which are further technical indicators to suggest the index has scope for more gains.

Moustapha Awada, who heads up quantitative trading firm Sunofia Advisers, said worries over the U.S. debt situation and the possibility of slower Chinese economic growth could lead to a pullback on equities in the first quarter.

However, he expected an overall rally during the course of 2013.

"We could potentially see some pullback from debt ceiling problems in the U.S. and slower growth in China, but I see the potential for equities to keep going up," he said.

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