European shares dip, pound at its lowest since Jan 2017

The British pound slid below $1.20 on September 3, 2019, for the first time since the start of 2017, as the UK faces a possible general election amid Brexit turmoil. (Photo by AFP)

European shares fell for the first time in four sessions on Tuesday, as uncertainty over Britain's chaotic exit from the European Union and continuing trade tensions between the United States and China weighed on sentiment.

British lawmakers will decide on Tuesday whether to move Britain one step closer to a snap election when they vote on the first stage of their plan to block Prime Minister Boris Johnson from pursuing a no-deal Brexit.

That sent the pound down to its lowest since January 2017, helping the export-laden blue-chip index outperform other European markets with a 0.14% rise.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index, however, was down 0.26% by 0715 GMT.

Washington and Beijing are struggling to schedule a meeting this month to renew trade talks after Washington rejected Beijing's request to delay tariffs that took effect over the weekend, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

Ferguson jumped 3.8% and was the biggest gainer on the STOXX 600, after the British plumbing products company said it will separate its UK operations to focus on its North American business and that Chief Executive John Martin will step down in November. 

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