European shares slip on Brexit anxiety

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(Reuters) – European shares ticked lower in early dealings on Thursday, as investors were tense ahead of a two-day European Union summit that will focus on last-gasp efforts to seal a deal on Britain’s exit from the bloc.

At 0706 GMT, the pan-European STOXX 600 index () was down 0.2% with all major bourses in the red.

Only the London’s blue-chip FTSE 100 () was flat as the export-heavy firms benefited from a weakness in the pound. The domestically-focused midcaps index () dropped 0.5%.

Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party said it could not support the withdrawal agreement proposed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the European Union, raising doubts whether Johnson will be able to win the parliament’s approval.

Meanwhile, a mixed bag of earnings reports trickled in.

French car parts group Faurecia (PA:) dropped 5.3% after posting lower-than-expected third quarter sales.

Ericsson (ST:) jumped nearly 7% after the telecoms equipment maker posted quarterly core earnings well ahead of expectations and lifted its 2020 sales target.

Mining stocks () posted the sharpest fall of 1.3% among European sectors.

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