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European shares give back gains as Brexit turmoil continues

Ilona Billington
  • November 16th 2018, 13:52
  • Last Updated: October 17th 2019, 12:36

European shares are lower early afternoon Friday, giving back earlier gains as Brexit uncertainty remains heightened. While UK Prime Minister Theresa May could soon face a formal vote of no confidence, she has also gained the public support of a handful of Ministers, as the disagreement over the Brexit process rumbles on.

By 1340 BST, the EUROSTOXX 600 was down 0.61%, while the EUROSTOXX 50 was 0.80% lower. Regional bourses also moved into the red. The German DAX fell 0.81%, the French CAC was off 0.72% and the Spanish IBEX moved 0.50% into negative territory.

Brexit worries retain their hold

Following a positive open across the broader European stock market, investor sentiment slipped steadily, helping to push indices lower, yet again, post midday.

It appears that while there is some confirmed support for Theresa May among her ministers and her party, the number of formal no confidence letters is rising. It’s possible an official vote of no confidence could come soon and reports suggest that preparations are being put in place for such an event.

In addition to that, the Supreme court is considering whether or not an MP vote on halting the current Brexit process, would be legally binding. This is something the Government would prefer to avoid; however, it may be possible that UK MPs could still collectively work together and withdraw its Article 50 submission and remain in the EU.

Stock movers

While Brexit is the main driver of sentiment Friday, there are other minor influences.

Tech stocks are broadly lower, weighed down by a weak performance for the sector overnight in Asia.

However, bucking the negative trend is Vivendi shares. They’re in the green after a positive third quarter earnings report, in which it said revenues rose 5.6% from a year earlier. Its Universal Music Group Arm has proved supportive of the increase, which question marks remain over Canal Plus.

Vivendi shares rose 3.04% to 21.66.

About the author

Ilona Billington
Ilona is a freelance writer and editor with over 15 years experience reporting and writing about UK and European economics, real estate, financial markets and central banks.

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