European stocks marched into a third session of gains on Thursday as a Brexit trade deal seemed almost at hand, with just a week left for Britain’s final exit from the European Union.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.1%, looking set to begin the Christmas holidays having made up all the losses at the beginning of the week, while London’s FTSE 100 climbed 0.2%.
After months of wrangling, and amid warnings of no deal, Britain and the European Union were on the cusp of striking a narrow trade agreement, sources in London and Brussels said, swerving away from an acrimonious split.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a late-night conference call with his Cabinet of senior ministers, and negotiators in Brussels pored over reams of legal trade texts, sources said.
Banks, sensitive to Brexit news, rose 0.6% to lead gains in Europe.