European shares neared a record high on Friday on hopes of an orderly Brexit after a landslide election victory for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and signs of a last-ditch trade deal between the United States and China.
Markets believe a Conservative Party win would enable Johnson to deliver Brexit within weeks, easing fears of an immediate crash and potentially ending 3-1/2 years of political instability in Britain.
The UK-focused FTSE mid-caps index jumped 3.6% at 0806 GMT, outshining the pan-European STOXX 600 index's 1.5% rise, boosted by gains in shares of utilities, industrials and financials.
Investors also took comfort from a report that the United States will suspend tariffs on Chinese goods set to kick in on Sunday and cut others in return for Beijing buying more American farm goods. However, both sides were yet to formally confirm the news. (Reuters)