European Shares Inch Higher Ahead Of ECB Rate Decision

(RTTNews) - European stocks eked out modest gains on Wednesday, as investors awaited the EU's crucial Brexit summit as well as the European Central Bank's latest interest rate decision.

European Council president Donald Tusk is asking the EU to consider offering the UK a "flexible" delay to Brexit of up to a year, with the option of leaving earlier if a deal is ratified.

The European Central Bank is likely to maintain status quo on interest rates and forward guidance.

The pan European Stoxx 600 was up 0.2 percent at 386.44 after giving up half a percent the previous day.

The German DAX and France's CAC 40 index were up around 0.4 percent, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was little changed with a positive bias.

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield advanced 1.7 percent after it entered into an agreement with a consortium of institutional buyers for the sale of Tour Majunga in La Défense.

Royal Dutch Shell rose half a percent, a day after it agreed with Sinopec to examine the Dongying trough of Shengli in Shandong.

Indivior shares fell as much as 74 percent after the U.S. Department of Justice accused the British drugmaker of fraud to boost prescriptions of the film version of its opioid addiction treatment Suboxone.

Tesco, the U.K.'s largest retailer, gained 0.8 percent after reporting a better-than-expected 34 percent rise in full-year operating profit.

Ted Baker gained 1.6 percent. The lifestyle brand has entered into an agreement with Shanghai LongShang Trading Company Ltd. to create a Joint Venture in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau aiming to expand Ted Baker brand.

In economic releases, U.K. GDP grew 0.2 percent in February, beating forecasts as manufacturing surged, a report showed.

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