European stocks jump on signs Brexit deal almost at hand

By Susan Mathew

(Reuters) – European stocks marched into a third session of gains on Thursday as a Brexit trade deal seemed almost at hand, with just a week left for Britain’s final exit from the European Union.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.1%, looking set to begin the Christmas holidays having made up all the losses at the beginning of the week, while London’s FTSE 100 climbed 0.2%.

After months of wrangling, and amid warnings of no deal, Britain and the European Union were on the cusp of striking a narrow trade agreement, sources in London and Brussels said, swerving away from an acrimonious split.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a late-night conference call with his Cabinet of senior ministers, and negotiators in Brussels pored over reams of legal trade texts, sources said.

Banks, sensitive to Brexit news, rose 0.6% to lead gains in Europe.

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