November 30, 2016 / 8:55 AM / a year ago

European shares set for monthly gains as Italy risk looms, RBS slips

LONDON, Nov 30 (Reuters) - European shares edged higher on Wednesday, keeping them on track to end the month in positive territory, though gains were muted ahead of a choppy year-end for markets.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.2 percent in early dealings. It has gained 0.8 percent so far in November, after falling in the previous two straight months.

Linde shares were up more than 8 percent and the top gainers on the STOXX as its supervisory board is expected to discuss a fresh merger overture by Praxair at its next regular meeting on Dec. 7, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Shares in Britain’s state-backed lender RBS fell 2.8 percent, however, after the country’s central bank said the bank must boost its capital buffers after failing this year’s stress test of seven British lenders.

December is set to be an uncharacteristically busy month for markets with a referendum on constitutional reform in Italy, scheduled for Sunday, followed by a UK Supreme Court ruling on whether the government can launch Brexit without an act of Parliament. (Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Vikram Subhedar)

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