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European Shares Seen Up As MPs Approve Brexit Delay

stockmarkets aug17 15mar19 lt

European stocks may open higher on Friday after U.K. lawmakers voted to delay Brexit and the Bank of Japan left its monetary stimulus program unchanged, as widely expected.

U.K. lawmakers have voted in favor of delaying the process of exiting from EU by at least three months, but decisively rejected a call for a second referendum.

Prime Minister Theresa May said Brexit could be delayed by three months to June 30 if MPs back her withdrawal deal in a vote next week.

If they reject her deal again then it is likely that she will seek a longer extension. However, any delay has to be agreed by the 27 other EU member states.

Elsewhere, the Bank of Japan kept its monetary policy steady and offered a relatively weak assessment of the Japanese economy.

The BoJ will conduct purchases of Japanese government bonds in a flexible manner so that the outstanding amount will increase at an annual pace of about JPY 80 trillion.

Asian stocks remain broadly higher despite a fresh flare up in U.S.-China trade concerns after U.S. President Donald Trump said he was in no rush to complete a trade pact with China.

The British pound traded flat and gold rose on a softer dollar while oil prices held stable, helped by OPEC-led output cuts and the U.S. sanctions against Venezuela and Iran.

Overnight, U.S. stocks ended mixed amid reports that a meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping has been pushed back until at least April.

The report from Bloomberg came after Trump told reporters on Wednesday that he is in "no rush" to complete a trade deal with China.

The Dow inched up marginally, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite slid 0.2 percent and the S&P 500 slipped 0.1 percent.

European markets rose on Thursday as investors tracked developments on the Brexit front.

The pan European Stoxx 600 added 0.8 percent. The German DAX edged up 0.1 percent, while France's CAC 40 index advanced 0.8 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 gained 0.4 percent.

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