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Europe: Stocks up as EU approves May's Brexit plan

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European equities climbed, led by banking and oil shares, as Italian and UK stocks advanced on positive political developments.

[LONDON] European equities climbed, led by banking and oil shares, as Italian and UK stocks advanced on positive political developments.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.8 per cent. The FTSE 100 Index increased 0.9 per cent and Italy's FTSE MIB jumped 2.4 per cent. HSBC gained 2 per cent and Intesa Sanpaolo added 4.6 per cent. BP, Total and Shell rose as Brent oil recovered from declines.

After the European Union agreed to a Brexit deal, investors will be carefully watching how the proposal goes down in the UK Parliament. Italy also remains a key factor after the Messaggero newspaper reported that Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini's economic adviser indicated that fine-tuning the budget is possible, and Italy is looking at changes to the 2019 deficit target, according to an official.

"Politics dominated last week and are likely to be prominent this week too," said David Madden, a market analyst at CMC Markets UK. "Theresa May has a difficult task ahead of her as she has to sell the withdrawal agreement to her own party."

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