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Europe: London stocks steady after Brexit breakthrough deal

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[LONDON] The London stock market flattened at the start of trading on Friday following news of a breakthrough Brexit deal, while the pound nudged slightly higher.

In initial trade, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index was almost unchanged at 7,322.44 points.

In the eurozone meanwhile, the Paris CAC 40 index won 0.5 per cent to 5,411.91 and Frankfurt's DAX 30 added nearly 0.8 per cent to 13,146.82 points from Thursday's close.

"In focus today will be the fallout from an eleventh hour Brexit deal between the UK and EU, sufficient progress having been made on the Irish border issue, clearing the path for the second round of negotiations and, most crucially, the beginning of long overdue trade talks," said Accendo Markets analyst Mike van Dulken.

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Market voices on:

"Subject to a confirmation vote at next week's 14-15 December summit in Brussels, things are about to finally move on." Britain and the EU reached a historic deal on Friday on the terms of the Brexit divorce after Prime Minister Theresa May rushed to Brussels for early morning talks.

The European Commission said it "recommends sufficient progress" had been made by Britain on separation issues including the Irish border, Britain's divorce bill, and citizens rights.

The agreement paves the way for EU leaders at a summit on December 14-15 to open the second phase of Brexit negotiations, covering trade talks and a transition period.

Britain voted in June 2016 to become the first state to leave the EU, after more than four decades of membership, but the talks have been slow moving and often acrimonious so far.

AFP

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