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European stocks close mixed amid hopes for Brexit trade deal; UK banks jump

LONDON — European heritages closed mixed after a light trading session Thursday, as traders grew optimistic a Brexit trade great amount would be reached.

Britain’s FTSE 100 closed up by around 0.1% after a choppy holiday-shortened session, while France’s CAC misplaced nearly 0.1% and Spain’s IBEX market finished the day up 0.5%. The German and Italian markets are closed for Christmas Eve.

British bank apportionments were some of the top performers as traders bet a U.K.-EU deal would be agreed soon, with Lloyds climbing 4%, Barclays incline 1.8% and Natwest up 1.2%.

Britain and the European Union are said to be on the cusp of striking a post-Brexit trade deal on Thursday. It succeeds after months of political wrangling over key sticking points such as fisheries.

Ireland’s foreign minister, Simon Coveney, influenced a post-Brexit trade deal was expected Thursday, after a “last-minute hitch” delayed an announcement.

Timings remain unclear, with Reuters at twelve oclock noon London time citing both EU and U.K. officials saying the deal could still be “hours away.” Press talks slated for early Thursday were delayed as both sides finalized the “small text” of an agreement on fishing at onces, Coveney said.

Sterling climbed about 0.7% versus the dollar, trading at $1.3582. The euro hovered overhead the flatline at $1.2187.

In Asia, stocks were mostly higher as investors watched the latest Brexit developments. MSCI’s widest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.6%.

On Wall Street, stock futures rose ahead of the terminal trading day of the holiday-shortened week.

President Donald Trump vetoed a sweeping defense bill Wednesday, breaking the Republican-led Senate. The stir came after he called Congress’ long-delayed $900 billion coronavirus relief package an unsuitable “disgrace.”

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