(For a live blog on European stocks, type LIVE/ in an Eikon news window)
LONDON, Dec 18 (Reuters) - European shares tried to stabilize on Wednesday as gains for Swedish truck maker Volvo and defensive sectors helped counter worries about a hard Brexit that continued to pressure UK mid-cap shares.
The pan-European STOXX 600 inched up 0.1% by 0821 GMT, hovering closer to a record high hit on Monday, encouraged by a decisive Conservative win in UK elections and a preliminary U.S.-China trade deal.
Shares in Swedish truck maker Volvo AB gained 4.7% after it and Japan’s Isuzu Motors agreed to form a strategic alliance in commercial vehicles that will include sale of Volvo’s subsidiary UD Trucks to Isuzu.
Defensive sectors such as healthcare, food & beverage and utilities led gains on the main STOXX 600 index.
However, domestically focused UK stocks fell 0.4% as worries about Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson taking a hard line on Brexit lingered. London’s exporter heavy FTSE 100 rose 0.2%, as pound erased all its gains made on the Tory victory. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar, editing by Julien Ponthus)
Reuters Breakingviews is the world's leading source of agenda-setting financial insight. As the Reuters brand for financial commentary, we dissect the big business and economic stories as they break around the world every day. A global team of about 30 correspondents in New York, London, Hong Kong and other major cities provides expert analysis in real time.
Sign up for a free trial of our full service at https://www.breakingviews.com/trial and follow us on Twitter @Breakingviews and at www.breakingviews.com. All opinions expressed are those of the authors.