European stocks fell for a second session on Thursday, weighed down by financial sector losses, but British stocks rallied as the pound fell amid growing concern that an exit without a deal from the European Union could become a reality.
Equity markets in Frankfurt, Madrid, Dublin and Paris all suffered losses, but Britain’s Financial Times 100 rose 0.9 percent to a five-and-a-half-year high, boosted by energy stocks and sterling.
The Stoxx 600 European index closed just 0.04 percent lower, with the performance of the banking sector index weakened after a shift in Federal Reserve policy on Wednesday and a warning from Swiss bank UBS on the income of investment banking activities.
London-listed miners rose, with BHP and Rio Tinto up more than 1.5 percent each, while oil and gas giants BP and Royal Dutch Shell rose more than 1 percent.
Across Europe, Germany’s DAX down 0.5 percent, France’s CAC 40 0.07 percent and Spain’s APEX 0.5 percent.