European shares hit five-month high after no-deal Brexit rejected

LONDON (Reuters) – European shares hit a five month high in morning trading on Thursday after the British parliament voted to reject a disorderly Brexit.

Markets remained in a cautious mood however as another crucial vote to delay leaving the European Union is pending on Thursday evening.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.3 percent at 0817 GMT while the FTSE 100 was down 0.1 percent. Sterling was experiencing a similar retreat after its gains during the previous session.

“We now see a 60 percent chance (up from 55 percent) that a close variant of the prime minister’s current Brexit deal is eventually ratified,” Goldman Sachs analysts wrote, adding the probability of a no-deal Brexit had fallen to 5 percent.

Among individual stocks, Lufthansa posted the worst performance after publishing results and a 11 percent decline in fourth-quarter operating profits.

Germany’s GEA was the top riser, up 8.3 percent as its results were cheered by investors, as were those of Italy’s Leonardo.

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