December 12, 2019 / 8:20 AM / 2 months ago

European shares tick higher as Britons head to polls

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Dec 12 (Reuters) - European shares rose slightly on Thursday as investors awaited the outcome of a general election in Britain that will decide the fate of Brexit, as well as a policy meeting by the European Central Bank (ECB).

While all major opinion polls suggest the ruling Conservative Party will win Thursday’s election, allowing them to pass a withdrawal deal and end 3-1/2-years of uncertainty, their lead seems to have narrowed recently.

Attention will also be on the remarks made by the newly appointed ECB chief Christine Lagarde on the future of stimulus and policy review as the current policy is expected to stay unchanged.

The FTSE 100 index comprising internationally-focused firms gained 0.2%, shrugging off the impact from a firmer sterling. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.1% at 0806 GMT.

Shares of Anheuser-Busch InBev fell marginally after Australia’s competition regulator raised concerns over the brewer’s $11 billion deal to sell its local operations to Japan’s Asahi.

Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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