European Shares Look to Brexit Trade Talks for Direction

European shares were little changed on Tuesday, as hopes of a Brexit trade deal faded amid a lastditch attempt to find a solution, while rising coronavirus cases spurred talks of stricter curbs that could cause more economic pain.

The panEuropean STOXX 600 index was trading flat, while Londons FTSE 100, which has been outperforming regional peers in recent sessions, fell 0.1.

After British and EU leaders failed to narrow differences on Monday, they are set to meet in a final attempt to seal a deal to govern around 1 trillion in annual trade before Britain exits from the bloc at the end of the month.

The timing of the meeting is yet to be confirmed, with investors waiting to see if a decision can be made before the EU summit begins on Thursday.

Officials from both sides sounded more and more skeptical about the possibility of a deal since talks failed overnight.

Markets have begun to price in nodeal risk again, said Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management.

We think next week is still in play for a deal if progress can be made… UK equities are among the opportunities we highlight for the next leg up.

The decline in the broader market came as Britain began rolling out the COVID19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, the first Western country to start vaccinating its population.

Meanwhile, as infections continued to rise in Germany, Health Minister Jens Spahn said the government might tighten restrictions to control the spread…

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