European Markets Finish Slightly Higher After Brexit Process Begins

The European markets ended Wednesday’s session with modest gains. The markets got off to a positive start, but pared their gains ahead of today’s announcement from the U.K. Traders reacted to the news that Article 50 had been triggered with relative calm in the afternoon.

The United Kingdom is leaving the European Union as Britons wished and can look forward with optimism and hope that the best days are ahead, Prime Minister Theresa May said Wednesday, after announcing that her letter invoking Article 50 that triggers the Brexit process was delivered to the European Union.

“This is an historic moment from which there can be no turning back,” May said in her statement in the House of Commons. “Britain is leaving the European Union.”

She spoke shortly after the UK envoy Tim Barrow delivered the letter to the European Council President Donald Tusk in Brussels around 13.20 CET. With this, the formal process of exiting the EU began, which must conclude in two years.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index advanced 0.30 percent. The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone blue chip stocks increased 0.29 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, added 0.41 percent.

The DAX of Germany climbed 0.44 percent and the CAC 40 of France rose 0.45 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. gained 0.41 percent and the SMI of Switzerland finished higher by 0.75 percent.

In Frankfurt, Siemens advanced 0.52 percent. The company plans to keep the majority stake in its healthcare unit Healthineers after an IPO or spin-off, CEO Joe Kaeser told Swiss newspaper Finanz und Wirtschaft in an interview.

Volkswagen rose 0.11 percent. The automaker would recall more than 572,000 vehicles in china to address a potential problem caused by panoramic sunroofs, the country’s quality regulator said.

Drug-maker Stada increased 0.23 percent after confirming its 2017 outlook.

Deutsche Bank climbed 1.32 percent after its U.K. subsidiary Deutsch DB Group Services agreed to pay a…

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