European shares nudge higher as Brexit tussle continues

European shares nudge higher as Brexit tussle continues
The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, October 18, 2019. REUTERS/Staff -
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(Reuters) – European shares opened slightly higher on Monday, indicating that investors remained hopeful that Britain would be able to avoid a disorderly exit from the European Union, even as British lawmakers delayed a crucial vote on the withdrawal agreement.

The British government insisted on Sunday the country will leave the European Union on Oct. 31 despite a letter that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was forced by parliament to send to the bloc, requesting for a Brexit delay.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index <.STOXX> rose 0.2% after finishing nearly flat last week, hurt by some weak quarterly results and conflicting Brexit headlines.

London’s blue-chip FTSE 100 <.FTSE> was up 0.3% as export-heavy firms benefited from a weakness in the pound, while the domestically focused mid-caps index <.FTMC> dropped 0.3%.

Tomra Systems <TOM.OL> gained 12% after reporting strong quarterly results, including an all-time high order intake.

Wirecard <WDIG.DE> rose 4.6% after the German payments company said it had hired KPMG to conduct an independent audit to address allegations by the Financial Times, that its finance team had sought to inflate its reported sales and profits.

On the other hand, the Berlin government’s move to freeze rents put real estate companies such as Deutsche Wohnen <DWNG.DE>, Ado Properties <ADJ.DE> and Vonovia <VNAn.DE> under pressure.

(Corrects to fix typo in first paragraph)

(Reporting by Agamoni Ghosh in bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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