The pan-European Stoxx 600 was barely below the flatline during late afternoon deals, with sectors and major bourses pointing in different directions. London’s FTSE 100 was among the standout indexes in the black, rising over 0.8 percent amid a slide in the British pound.
European Markets: FTSE, GDAXI, FCHI, IBEX
In the U.K., the Bank of England (BOE) held interest rates steady on Thursday, as widely expected. The decision comes amid intensifying uncertainty over Britain’s departure date from the European Union.
In terms of sectors, Europe’s banking index slipped more than 1 percent. Germany’s two largest banks were among the worst performers, amid concerns a Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank merger could pressure Deutsche to further shrink or even dispose of its U.S. business. Shares of both banks were down over 3 percent.
Looking at individual stocks, Britain’s Merlin Entertainments tumbled close to the bottom of the index. Shares of the company fell more than 6 percent after Berenberg cut its stock recommendation to “sell” from “hold.”
The embattled prime minister said British citizens were “tired of infighting and political games” and it was “high time” U.K. lawmakers decided on the next steps.
Earlier on Wednesday, May had written to European Council President Donald Tusk to formally request to delay Brexit until June 30. Until the law is changed, Britain is scheduled to leave the EU next Friday.