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European stocks flatten out, eyes on Brexit, Fed

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European stocks flatten out, eyes on Brexit, Fed
The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, February 21, 2019. REUTERS/Staff   -   Copyright  STAFF(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – European shares opened flat to marginally higher on Tuesday, as investors made cautious moves ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting while British Prime Minister Theresa May’s third attempt to get a Brexit deal through parliament was blocked for now.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.1 percent by 0806 GMT after four sessions of solid gains, while Germany’s DAX index was less than 0.05 percent higher and London’s FTSE dipped 0.1 percent.

The Fed’s two-day meeting starts on Tuesday, with financial markets expecting the U.S. central bank to reinforce a dovish approach to any further rises in interest rates.

Rate-sensitive bank stocks dipped 0.2 percent, after jumping more than a full percentage point in value on Monday following confirmation of merger talks between Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank.

Scandal-hit Danske Bank fell over 5 percent, the most on the STOXX 600, after shareholders voted against a proposal to break up the bank.

British leader May’s Brexit plans were thrown into turmoil on Monday when the speaker of parliament ruled that she could not put her divorce deal to a new vote unless it was re-submitted in a fundamentally different form.

Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay said on Tuesday that the decision meant there would be no vote this week.

British online supermarket Ocado overturned expectations of an initial fall to rise almost 3 percent as strong first quarter sales numbers outweighed the fallout of a fire last month at its flagship robotic distribution centre.

German specialty chemicals maker Wacker Chemie dropped 2.3 percent after projecting “significantly” lower net income in 2019 compared with a year earlier.

France’s telecoms operator Iliad dropped more than 2 percent after the company cut its cash-flow target for 2020 in France and added it was considering selling part of its mobile assets.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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