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European shares off to cautious start as ECB meets, UK votes
June 8, 2017 / 7:36 AM / 6 months ago

European shares off to cautious start as ECB meets, UK votes

MILAN, June 8 (Reuters) - European shares inched up on Thursday helped by stronger banks and a rebound in oil prices but caution dominated as Britons vote in a general election and the European Central Bank holds its policy meeting.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.2 percent with financials providing the biggest lift, while Britain’s FTSE was flat.

One day after the well-received rescue of Spanish lender Banco Popular by Santander, banks remained in focus due to fresh newsflow about a potential rescue of troubled Italian lenders Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca.

The euro zone bank index added 0.6 percent. Italy’s two biggest banks Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit traded down 0.4 percent and flat respectively, while Santander was up 0.8 percent.

Utilities also rose with RWE and E.ON adding to their rally in the previous session after a nuclear energy tax which penalised them was scrapped.

French credit insurance company Euler Hermes rose 5 percent to a 2-year high following a report that Allianz is exploring a buyout of its smaller rival. (Reporting by Danilo Masoni, Editing by Helen Reid)

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